Bjorn Borg's cool has been disrupted by Swedish media treatment of a threat on his life, attributed to the Italian terrorist gang that murdered Italy's President Aldo Moro....
But, fresh hope for peace in our time -- Peking has feelers out for China to host the 1988 summer Olympics.
Borg, tennis' No. 1, doesn't know whether the threat is a hoax, but scratched a match in Goteborg next weekend with John McEnroe and said he won't play in his homeland this year. Borg received a similar threar, believed to have been by telephone from Stockholm, when in Milan in October; withdrew from competition there and had received no further warnings until now -- when he, Stockholm police, Royal Tennis Club and Swedish news outlets received a letter mailed in Stockholm saying "Red Brigade -- death sentence -- Bjorn Borg." Attached was a photo, widely published at the time, of Borg posing in Israeli army uniform during a visit to the Middle East last fall.
The publicity shook Borg more than the letter, and "we are not going to change routines," said his coach, Lennart Bergelin, as detectives guarded the Wimbledon champ and fiance Mariana Simionescu.
Even as Los Angeles and U.S. officials got together with the internatonal hierarchy in Lausanne, Switzerland, for formal signing of the 1984 Olympic contract, the Jody Powell of China, Yao Wei, was saying Teng Hsiao-ping wants the big games of '88 -- "The vice premier feels it is a people-to-people sporting event." Shanghai might be the place.
The baseball fans and the media, fresh from the Pete Rose-Clearwater carnival a day earlier, descended on Pittsburgh Pirate camp for grand arrival of money king Dave Parker. The gathering cooled heels for three hours. "Dave will be here -- don't worry about it," said General Manager Harding Peterson. "It is not in Dave's character to stay out without a purpose. He has the greatest attitude in the world."
At last, the word from the big bopper: "under the weather," he would not report until Saturday. "Do you know where Parker called from?" Peterson was asked. "I have no idea," he replied.
Some whirl for Wayne Dobbs, erstwhile GWU basketball coach: named Southeastern Conference coach of year for his Vanderbilt Commodores' surprise 18-8 campaign, nonetheless teetering on the brink of dismissal by the new athletic director; upset in the first round of the SEC tourney, and jeopardy doubles...
WHA catch: The Cincinnati Stingers haul aboard Bryan Watson, the popular dropped Capital whose NHL penalty-time record just was wiped out by Dave Schultz. They count on his "leadership for the playoff drive."
Pitter-patter, another tennis flash? Jimmy Connors, "in" sources say, beat Chris Evert-John Lloyd and Borg-Simionescu to it, secretly marrying within last few weeks: No, not Marjorie Wallace, the beauty-queen former Connors playmate. Yes, Patti McGuire, Playboy Playmate of Year 1977.