The 100-piece Hollywood Hills (Fla.) High School Spartan marching band played "Pomp and Circumstances." Twenty-eight majorettes and pompon girls strutted and twirled. The scene was the airport at Fort Lauderdale, and four of the girls held aloft this sign:
"Welcome Sparky Lyle - Finally."
Jokin' George Steinbrenner, New York Yankee owner, had turned the tables on the practical joker of his pitching staff, whom he berated earlier in the week for not rushing to spring training with the vanguard.
Said ace fireman Lyle to the bridge he took last summer in a ceremony almost as dazzling, replete with fire engine: "I didn't know they were that happy to see me. Mary, just think if we had waited another week" . . .
It was almost as gala as over at Miami the night before when celebrities roasted Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes - in a benefit for the U. of Miami athletic program (okay by Hayes, he beatu Lou Saban's team in the 1977 opener). Hayes, who turned 65 on Valentine's Day with no hint he won't keep coaching until 70, finally received from former president Gerald R. Ford the first "Feet of Clay Award" - a huge molded foot inscribed with all 57 losses Hayes suffered in his 27 OSU seasons (the nine to Michigan in capital letters). . .
Hayes landed the prize passer from Washington Court House, Ohio, Art Schlichter, after a head-to-head battle with Penn State. Plus some wide receivers he reckons can team with the new gun to give the Buckeyes an unaccustomedly beefy air arm. No wonder Woody could let Lee Corso of rival Indiana grab Dunbar (D.C.) High's quarterbacking heir to former Buckeye QB Corny Greene - Interhigh player of the year Steve Mitchell . . .
The development also bolstered the chances of Dayle Tate, the former All-Met from Lee H.S., to move in as chuckin' Chuck Fusina's backup QB at Penn State after having been redshirted as a soph last fall, arm injury. . . And whatever happened to Matt Weathers of Fort Hunt, The Post offensive player of the year 1976? He was seeing some reserve running-back service at Illinois until cracking a bone in the ankle, or near it, in game three; we'll evidently hear from him yet . . . Maryland should be out any day with its list of 1978 football recruits and Bob Pellegrini, the Terp all-timer who now distributes gusto in the alma mater's neighborhood, plus putting in a good word for U of M to hot prospect, ventures that Jerry Claiborne found a lot of what he needed . . . We hear, though, that if anybody had a big recruiting season, it was a guy who needed it after that bummer of a first year at alma mommy - Johnny Majors, Tennessee.
George Allen may be going to open up the L.A. Ram offense, but is defense as ever, the name of his game? You bet - he plucked for his staff yesterday no less than Bud Carson, the former Georgia Tech head coach who has been the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive coordinator since '72. Credit him with structuring the Iron Curtain, they say . . . Hot prospects to be former basketball coachs at their present schools when season curtain rings down: Gale Catlett, Cincinnati, John Cinicola, Duquesne; Larry Gillman, East Carolina . . . Throwing hard in Florida: 1977 sore-armers Mark Fidrych, Tigers; Andy Messersmith, new Yankee. And in Arizona: Vida Blue, A's, saying, "I'll always play this game 100 percent."