Ron Guidry's revenge: Guidry 143, Jim Rice 38.
That's the count as the Cy Young left-hander of the New York Yankees strides forward as Male Athlete of the Year by ballot of Associated Press-canvassed sportswriters and 'casters nationwide. Boston Red Sox slugger Rice finished third -- behind Pete Rose, 94 votes.
"The whold thing just tickles me," said Guidry, rankled just a bit that Rice, whom he "owned" in mano-a-mano confrontations down the AL East stretch, won the Baseball Writer's MVP vote in November.
Maybe Rose could say the same about being runner-up. National League MVP Dave Parker settled for nine votes.
But is baseball back as national pastime or isn't it? You have to look all the way to fifth place in the athlete voting to find a footballer -- Earl Campbell, 23 votes -- and he trailed Muhammed Ali, who drew 26 nods just for batting.500 against Leon Spinks, ring deliveries.
Agreeing with Baltimore GM Dick Szymanski -- "Anyone with common sense knows there is no way we would trade Bert Jones to anyone" -- we studiously ignored this week's rumor out of Aoakland. Now we can pick up on it with Colt owner Robert Irsay declaring, "I wouldn't trade Bert for any quarterback in or out of the league, just as I wouldn't sell the Colts...
"This team will eventually be turned over to my son, Jimmy."
Jimmy Irsay is currently a freshman at Southern Methodist -- and as one projected to join the Colt management team and slowly work his way up to complete control, where better to take basic training than SMU?
Russ Potts and Brad Thomas, ex-Maryland, have done it again after doubling attendance in this first year as creators of SMU "Mustang Mania": they're moving the team on up and out of the rundown Cotton Bowl -- 30 years the Ponies' home turf in Dallas -- into cushy Texas Stadium, suburban home of the NFL Cowboys, and will open there Sept. 8 against Rice.
Jerry Claiborne, head-coaching the East in today's 54th Shrine game at Stanford, has a couple of fair country QBs to alternate: Clemson's ACC player of the year, Steve Fuller, who directed the 28-24 coquest of Claiborne's Maryland troops that won the conference, and Jeff Rutledge, winning pitcher in Alabama's Sugar Bowl biggie.
Sunday evening in New Orleans' Superdome comes the inaugural Black College All-Star Bowl, and Bowie State has three representatives among East seniors: linebacker Garland Branch, Anacostia alumnus, and twins Keith and Kevin Coates out of Wilson High. Their leader at Bowie, John Organ, won an NAIA coach-of-year citation and he gave so much credit to defensive (book) ends Coates and Coates for making his Bulldogs No. 2 in NAIA low yardage yield that he is retiring the duos' jersey Nos. 80 and 81...