The NFL moves one more step, but gingerly in this instance, to cut down injuries - by cutting down on the "chop block." Whazzat? When a defender already engaged by one blocker is hit below the waist by another blocker. The chop block will be discouraged, via letters from Commissioner Pete Rozelle to the 28 teams asking them to refrain from using the technique - but it is not being specifically outlawed.
Larry Bird of Indiana State and the Boston Celtics have agreed on money: $650,000 a year for five years. Now all they have to get together on is how to package the deal - how and when the college basketballer of the year will be paid. The main demand, met, was that Bird make more than Earvin Johnson's promised $600,000 a year from the L.A. Lakers. Did Magic leave some blank contract space to leapfrog Bird when he officially is drafted June 25? If so, will Bird leapfrog back?
At last some respect for EEEEE. On top of the CBS award as NBA's "unofficial" MVP, he's made the official all-pro first five selected by a panel of 66 media members, three from each NBA city. The team: F, Elvin Hayes and Marques Johnson; C, Moses Malone; G, George Gervin and Paul Westphal.
Bobby Dandridge? Second team, with Walter Davis, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Phil Ford and Lloyd Fre-e-e-e!
Mike Samson, who blossomed into an ace forward as a 1978-79 George Washington basketball senior, suffered a fractured right forearm and internal abdominal injuries in a head-on auto collision yesterday at 25th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. He was listed in fair condition at GWU Hospital following surgery, may be released in a week; driver of the other vehicle, a taxi, was treated, released. D.C. police said Samson told them he fell asleep at the wheel; they charged him with failure to give full time and attention. Samson would rather have waited till fall to log hospital time - he's scheduled to start GW medical school then.
Bucky Roman, Samson's team-mate, meantime had an operation Monday - same knee as last year, which put him out for his sophomore season. The former Lee High sharpshooter this time had scar tissue cut from the kneecap by Dr. Steve Haas, who tells Coach Bob Tallent that Roman probably can resume rehabilitation in about three weeks . . .
No. 251 in the baseball draft (seventh round, Texas Rangers): GW's second baseman Billy Goodman, ex-Wheaton High athlete who helped the Colonials to the NCAA regionals. (For other area prospects drafted yesterday, check Scoreboard) . . .
How nice for Nancy Lopez that this week's tour stop - the LPGA Championship - in which she bids for her fourth straight tournament victory and a repeat in the main event she won as a rookie last year - is at the Nicklaus Golf Center. That's the one at Mason, Ohio, a few miles outside Cincinnati - the area where she and husband Tim Melton are house hunting. Seems Melton, the Harrisburg sportscaster she met at a Pennsylvania tournament, has just landed a job as sports director at WCPO-TV, Cincinnati . . .
Another summer (almost), another damage suit against Reggie Jackson. This time Cassandra Smalls, 24, of New York claims the Yankee slugger slugged her after she sought his autograph at a Manhattan movie theater July 12. She wants $150,000. He says her tale is twisted. CAPTION: Picture, Mike Samson