Duane Thomas has filed for bankruptcy, five years to the week since he enjoyed his finest hour in running the Miami Dolphins into the ground in the Dallas Cowboys' 24-3 Super Bowl victory.
The voluntary petition entered by Thomas and his pregnant wife in federal court. Dallas, list debts of $26,979; joint income for the couple in 1976 totaling $5,000. The listing of creditors shows that Thomas' auto was repossessed two days after Christmas and sold at public auction.
Thomas is looking for work outside sports to support himself, wife and two (soon to be three) children. At 29, he has vague hopes of a comeback in pro football, despite his slide out of the NFL by way of Cowboys, Chargers - $12,261 of his debt is to the San Diego club - and finally two Redskins years. No need to recount his tribulations, many of which he brought upon himself, but to hear himout:
"I'm sure it was meant for me to go through these experiences. God has a mission for me, 'I'm sure, but hey, I'm ready to get on with it.I get nervous when I'm not working . . . I had illusions for a while, but found out illusions won't pay debts" . . .
Nor will $110,000 a year satisfy Bill Madlock, the Chicago Cub third baseman who won bac-to-back National League batting crowns. Nor, says Cub owner Phil Wrigley will Madlock be around much longer - he's up for trade.
Wrigley packed Rick Monday off to the Dodgers in trade this week after that mainstay reportedly asked a multiyear contract that Wrigley deemed unreasonable. If players like Madlock and Monday have their way with skyscraping salaries, said Wrigley, it could ruin baseball - "The same thing happened to grand opera. They solved their problem by selling public subscriptions." Just because Wrigley makes Doublemint doesn't mean he's the u.S. Mint, he intimates and says of another team "is foolish enough" to take Madlock off his hands, it would improve team morale.
Retorts Madlock: "My bags are packed" . . .
An owner who doesn't mind passing the bucks around, Atlanta's suspended Ted Turner, sends his Braves to Plains, Ga., today to engage the Plains All-Stars in softball. Billy Carter is the probable starting pitcher against the major league baseballers after they join the guests at his chicken barbecue; Jimmy Carter, in his last weekend at home before moving to the White House, just might come on relief, said Bob (The Other) Hope, Braves' P.R. director . . . New Brave sluggers Jeff Burroughs and Gary Matthews, Turner's cause celebre, will be there; so will old Brave slugger Hank Aaron. Bearing down in his job as director of Atlanta's farm system, Aaron visited Richmond this week to announce that his brother, Tommie Aaron, a veteran manager in the organization, this year will pilot the Richmond Braves in the International League . . . President Ford soon will be almoat a regular on the pro golf tour. Not only the Crosby clambake next week, but now it's out that he will play in the pro-am segment of the Bob (The Original) Hope Desert Classic at Palm Springs, Calif., Feb 9-13. Citizen Jerry and Betty Ford also are down to speak at the seventh annual Lombardi Award dinner Jan. 27 in Houston, at which the Lombardi college lineman award is made . . .
How they refine the estimates so minutely beats us, but NBC reports the Super Bowl 11 telecast reached 31,610,000 homes - a record for a sporting event - yet drew a viewing audience of 75 million - shy of the nearly 76 million who looked in on 1975 World Series game Seven . . .
The Louisiana state lab found that Mike Miley, Cal Angel shortstop and former LSU quarterback, had 23 percent alcohol in his blood when killed in an auto smashup last week; 10 constitutes legal definition of drunk . . . They say Kentucky's big men, Mike phillips and Ricky Robey, are two of the toughest college basketball players anywhere. Robey proved it yesterday when the car taking him and two other Wildcats to the Lexington airport for a flight to Auburn ran off the road. Seeing it was about to overturn, Robey pulled teammate Dwayne Casey into his lap to protect him. The car landed on its top but Casey, the driver, escaped with superficial cuts; Robey and Larry Johnson were only shaken up and joined the squad for the trip to play Saturday . . .
The Cub's Wrigley, 82, this week hired scout Joe Mathes, 85, who had been fired by the Cardinals' Gussio Busch, 75, and who is the oldest living former major league player? Paddy Livingston, who celebrated his 97th birthday yesterday in Cleveland - where he played one game, as a catcher, in 1901, the American League's inaugural season. He went on to bat .209 in 205 games over seven seasons with several clubs . . .
Vernon (Lefty) Gomez, the baseball Hall of Fame southpaw of Yankee glory days and a $943 windup with Senators, underwent heart surgery this week at Stanford University. Gomez, 63, was listed yesterday in stable condition . . . Former Senator catcher John Orsino, baseball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson U. in Jersey since 1970, has been hired by Cleveland Indians to manage their Call AA Eastern League affiliate at Williamsport, Pa. . . Tom Vandergriff, who helped Bob Short make Our Nats the Texas Rangers, has resigned as mayor of Arlington, Tex., catching city council by surprise after spending 25 of his 50 years in the post. Vandergriff served as color analyst last year for Ranger telecasts, an unpaid job . . .