Ironic it is that in Tony Franklin's 59-yard hour of glory as Eagle kicker of Cowboys on his return to his home state, his arch rival for college kicking supremacy in Lone Star land, Russell Erxleben, has limped into a New Orleans hospital. Poor Erx had a sore back in Saints' training camp, then pulled a muscle in his kicking leg in the season opener, hasn't played since, and just when ready to resume workouts, his left leg got sore. Swelling, rash, suspected gout, a trip to the hospital last week, back in this week -- now he says, "I've got something like infected blood vessels. Whatever it is, it has some kind of long medical name I don't remember. I'm depressed as hell" . . .

Whole lot of special doin's here Saturday: The Capitals launch their iceless hockey contest-clinic series (at least 10 dates and places) 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Penn-Mar Shopping Center, Forestville . . . At Pyle Junior High, Wilson Lane, Bethesda, a six-nation (Bulgaria, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, United States) going-on-Olympic-class weightlifting competition, the America Junior Cup International; 12:30-4, 6-10 p.m. Local hope: Washington's 165-pound star, Tony Simms . . . George Washington's basketball team holds it first and only public preseason scrimmage, 2 p.m. in Smith Center: facing the Suburban Maryland All-Stars, the AAU team that won this summer's D.C. Urban Coalition League and features former GW star Les Anderson . . .

Tom Cahill, NCAA coach of the year 1966 when his first of nine Army teams went 8-2, is being let go after five years at Division III-level Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.: 12-27-1 . . . Chuch Fairbanks shows he has a human side in his hour of 1-8 adversity at Colorado. Larry Batstone of Washington Touchdown Club reports the coach, who attended TD affairs during his Okalahoma and NFL Patriot heyday, upon l earning that an autographed football from Colorado for the TD Club's annual father-son day benefit missed scheduled delivery, had it hand-carried in by an airplane pilot.