PRO FOOTBALL—In the NFL's season openers, the 49ers defeated the Colts 30-24 as Jerry Rice caught his 50th career touchdown pass, a 58-yarder from Joe Montana. Indianapolis's Eric Dickerson also passed a career milestone: He ran for 106 yards against San Francisco to become the seventh NFL player to gain 10.000 or more yards rushing. The Saints controlled the ball for 44:02 minutes and held the Cowboys to 20 yards rushing to ruin coach Jimmy Johnson's pro debut 28-0. The Bills stunned the Dolphins 27-24 with an 11-point comeback in the last four minutes as Jim Kelly threw 26 yards for one touchdown and ran two yards for another. The Broncos converted four Kansas City turnovers into 24 points to beat the Chiefs 34-20. Randall Cunningham passed for 240 yards and two touchdowns as Philadelphia shut down the Seahawks 31-7. The Vikings, led by Anthony Carter, who had seven catches for 123 yards and a TD, sacked Warren Moon seven limes to beat the Oilers 38-7. The Raiders, who were 0-4 in the preseason, looked unbeatable in ripping the Chargers 40-14, as Steve Beuerlein threw two touchdown passes. In other games: The Rams defeated the Falcons 31-21; the Buccaneers held off the Packers 23-21: the Patriots edged the Jets 27-24; the Cardinals slipped by the Lions 16-13; the Browns crushed the Steelers 51-0; and the Bears beat the Bengals 17-14 (page 30).
GOLF—MIKE HULBERT parred the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Bob Estes in the B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y., after the two had tied at 16-under-par 268 in regulation play. Hulbert's victory was worth $90,000.
Muffin Spencer-Devlin shot a two-under-par 214 for a one-stroke victory over four opponents in a three-round LPGA event in Portland, Ore. She won $45,000.
Greg Norman won the Greater Milwaukee Open, in Franklin, Wis., shooting a 19-under-par 269 to beat Andy Bean by three strokes. Norman earned $144,000.
September 17, 1989
Beth Daniel shot a 13-under-par 203 to beat Betsy King and Alice Ritzman by three strokes in a three-round LPGA tournament in Springfield, Ill. The victory was worth $41,250.
HARNESS RACING—SANDMAN HANOVER ($8.60), driven by Bill O'Donnell, defeated Goalie Jeff by half a length to win the Messenger Stakes, the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown, at Free-state Raceway. The 3-year-old gelding covered the mile in 1:53[2/5] and won $157,740.
HORSE RACING—STEINLEN ($12.60), ridden by Jose Santos, finished half a length ahead of Lady in Silver to win the Arlington Million, at Arlington International Race Course. Steinlen, a 6-year-old horse, covered the 1¼ miles on grass in 2:03[3/5] and earned $600,000.
Miss Brio ($8.80), Jerry Bailey in the saddle, won the Maskette Handicap and $67,080, at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old mare ran the mile in 1:35[3/5] to beat Proper Evidence by 1¼ lengths.
MOTOR SPORTS—RUSTY WALLACE ran out of gas with one lap left in a 400-lap NASCAR race on the Richmond International Raceway, but he coasted his Pontiac to an 8.9-second victory over Dale Earnhardt, in a Chevrolet. Wallace averaged 88.380 mph for 300 miles on the three-quarter-mile oval and earned $55,650. On Sept. 3, DALE EARNHARDT won the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) International Raceway. He covered 367 laps of the 1.366-mile oval at an average speed of 135.462 mph to finish five seconds ahead of Mark Martin, in a Ford, and win $71,150.
Danny Sullivan, in a Penske-Chevrolet, won a 200-mile CART event in Elkhart, Wis., by 39.91 seconds over Teo Fabi, in a March-Porsche. Sullivan, who covered the 50 laps of the four-mile Road America circuit at an average of 123.050 mph and took home $50,160, passed Mario Andretti two turns from the end, when Andretti's Lola-Chevrolet ran out of gas. A week earlier, TEO FABI won a 200-mile CART race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, beating Al Unser Jr., in a Lola-Chevrolet, by 6.98 seconds. Fabi averaged 104.820 mph over 84 laps of the 2.4-mile road course and earned $53,160.
Alain Prost increased his lead to 20 points in the battle for the Grand Prix driving title by wheeling his McLaren-Honda to victory in the Italian Grand Prix, in Monza. Prost, who leads teammate Ayrton Senna 71-51 with four races to go, finished 7.3 seconds ahead of Gerhard Berger, in a Ferrari. Prost averaged 144 mph over 53 laps of the 3.6-mile Monza Autodrome. Senna dropped out with mechanical difficulties after 45 laps.
ROWING—At the World Rowing Championships in Bled, Yugoslavia, KRIS KARLSON of the U.S. won a gold medal in the lightweight single sculls and teamed with CAREY BETH SANDS of the U.S. to win the lightweight double sculls.
TENNIS—At the U.S. Open, in New York City, BORIS BECKER won the men's title, defeating Ivan Lendl 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6, and STEFFI GRAF beat Martina Navratilova 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the women's final (page 22). In the doubles, MARTINA NAVRATILOVA and HANA MANDLIKOVA won the women's competition 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 over Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shriver; JOHN McENROE and MARK WOODFORDE defeated Ken Flach and Robert Seguso 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 for the men's crown; and ROBIN WHITE and SHELBY CANNON prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the mixed final over Meredith McGrath and Rick Leach.
TRACK—At the World Cup meet in Barcelona, the U.S. men and East German women won the team titles (page 78).
MILEPOSTS—STRIPPED: Of his world records in the 60- and 100-meter sprints by the International Amateur Athletic Association, effective Jan. 1, 1990, BEN JOHNSON, 27, of Canada, who in June admitted that he had used steroids (page 17).
TRADED: By the Philadelphia Phillies, pitcher LARRY McWILLIAMS, 35, to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later.
By the NBA Phoenix Suns, guard STEVE KERR, 23, to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second-round draft pick in 1993.
By the NFL San Diego Chargers, running back BARRY REDDEN, 29, to the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed future draft choice; and by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive end RON HOLMES, 26, to the Denver Broncos for an undisclosed draft choice.
By the NHL New York Rangers, left wing CHRIS McRAE, 24, and future considerations to the Detroit Red Wings for left wing KRIS KING, 23.
DIED: TOM BLACKALLER, 49, who competed in the America's Cup trials in 1980, '83 and '87; of a heart attack; in Sonoma, Calif. (page 18).
Ripsewell, 82, a righthander for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1938 to '49, who delighted fans with his eephus pitch, which arched 25 feet into the air with a backspin as it headed toward the plate; of kidney failure; in Plant City, Fla.