Resume firing, Washington-vs.-Baltimore-as-sports-town debaters: Sunday's blockbuster the 3-0 Colts vs. the 3-0 Dolphins for AFC East supremacy, failed - by 7,000 tickets - to sell out Memorial Stadium by deadline of 72 hours before kickoff. Hence to local telecast for Baltimore. So maybe they'll fill the place after all, even if it takes that kick in the bucks on a day Colt all timer Johnny Unitas is to be honored in pregame ceremonies . . .
Syd Thirft, former scouting honcho for the Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals, calls to say that if he hears one more time on TV during the playoffs that K. C. second baseman Frank White is the only graduate of the late, lamented Royal's Baseball Academy in Florida to make the majors, he'll - Well, he'll tell 'em his academy classes of 1970-72 have blossomed and made that platitude passe. Thrift, back in real estate in Fairfax County, ticks off the names of Ron Washington, shortstop who finished out the '77 season with Los Angeles after hitting 322 at Albuquerque; as U. L. Washington, a September Royal promoted from Omaha; Oakland outfielders Sheldon Mallory and Rodney Scott (plus Mark Williams, who made it up from San Jose for a couple of games), Toronto pitcher Tom Bruno and K. C. righty Gary Lanoe, a late call-up from Omaha . . .
Amid the current silence, while Charlie Finley gets better, on whither the A's, the thought occurred that New Orleans, with Superdome, has been sneaky quite lately. Then we get a tip from the Coast: watch out for Denver . . .
The stillness about Renee Richards has come to a screeching halt: (1) Dianne Fromholtz, after whipping Richards in an Atlanta tourney, blasts her as "a sideshow that is against human nature and takes away from our tour." (2) Chris Evert chimes in: "I know Renee, I like her. But I don't think she should be playing tournaments with us because I think it sets a bad precedent. But I'm not going to judge her, because people judge me too much, and I don't like it." (3) The International Tennis Federation has adopted a change in tournament entry forms. ITF secretary David Gray said in London, "We are suggesting (to national associations of member countries) a paragraph which says any female competitor may be required to have an oral smear examination. The result of this oral be 'sex chromatin positive' for a female competitor to be eligible." Richards had been cleared for the Australian circuit this summer (that's our winter), until that word arrived; now she could be out in the cold.
Fromholtz concluded her tirade with, "She (Richards) gets all the publicity . . . Give her the publicity when she's won a big tournament, or beaten somebody." Ah, but isn't that when the screaming will really begin? Hasn't it now largely because the former Dick Raskind belted out Rosie Casals, 6-4, 6-2, the other night? . . .
Capital-area tennis growth continues. The multimillion-dollar Skyline Racquet & Health Club in Falls Church had its grand opening last weekend and boasts Graham Stilwell, the Britain who used to be a world top-tenner, as head of its junior development program. Aspen Hill Racquet Club in Wheaton, targeted for 13 counts upon May, 1978 completion, has big doings Columbus Day weekend, Saturday through Monday, featuring Fred Drilling and Gene Russo, to mark completion of first four Har-Tru courts . . .
Sugar Ray Leonard's opponent on the Nov. 5 ABC-TV Norton-Young card in Las Vegas has been announced: Augustine Estrada of Mexico. George Allen's pride, Mike Baker, is tentatively on the program too, against a Phoenix worthy who we hear has lost eight straight. But we don't always hear straight . . .
The NBA Nets have withdrawn all offers to last year's surprise star, free agent-holdout guard Bubbles Hawkins, who is represented by agent Archie Clark (the old Bullet?). General manager Bill Melchionni said he had made a deal with Hawkins, "then Clark called and wanted something else . . . Hawkins isn't in our plans anymore" . . . Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics is feuding with the Houston Rockets. The Celts obtained forward John Johnson this summer, cut him this week, then found out Johnson allegedly had a no-cut contract that the Rockets had disguised. Outrageous misrepresentation," shouts Auerbach. Your case, Larry O'Brien . . .
Will that magazine ad photo of the boss, middleman among nine athletic heroes in (almost no) underwear be blown up and used as pinup art over the bar of Bullet Mike Riordan's saloon in Annapolis? With the shot of fellow Marylander, equally-or-more exposed Jim Palmer for company? Tonight at 8, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., the action starts in the fourth annual Washington Area Darts Association Open at the Twin Bridges Marriott. WADA (phone 232-WADA) has upward of 2,500 members tossing in local pubs . . . Bet the White House was gladdened by the word from Jackson, Miss. In the National Police Combat Pistol Championships, the two-man team crown has been bagged by the Secret Service duo of Larry Householder, Laurel, and William Stout, Alexandria, 1,188 points of a possible 1,200. Winner of the four-man title: the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol. You in a heap o' trouble messin' with them . . .
If your've ever wondered what's a Hokie, as Virginia Tech rooters call their athletes, you're in company. The soft-drink concessionaire at VIP's Lane Stadium ordered 135,000 plastic cups for this year from Packer Plastics. Lawrence, Kan. Too late for correction by time they arrived, the cups are imprinted with "VIP," the Fighting Gobbler logo, "Fighting Gobblers," the school seal - and "Go Hoakies."
What's a Hoakie?