Earl Campbell started the 1979 football season a marked man after winning 29 postseason awards following his record-breaking 1978 NFL rookie season. He also started it by bulling through the Redskins for 166 yards and, as it turns out retrospectively, knocking them out of the playoffs with his touchdown that beat them, 29-27.
He has finished it in another blaze of awards as repeat league rusing champion; now tacking Associated Press' offensive player of the year onto the MVP laurels earlier voted him by AP. In each case, the Houston Oiler great beat out San Diego quarterback Dan Fouts; 39-34 in the offensive player vote of 84 experts.
AP's defensive player of the NFL year, decisively, is the anchor of Tampa Bay's front three in the 3-4 defense, end Lee Roy Selmon; 38 votes to 10 for runner-up Mike Reinfeldt, the Oiler free safety. s
Only two Redskins make the United Press International All-NFC team, but Mark Mosely leads all vote-getters on the offensive team and Lemar Parrish does like wise on defense. Moseley booted his way into the hearts of 39 of the 56-member panel of writers: Parrish intercepted 45 votes. Second team: Thiesmann, Lavender, Butz, Dusek. And St. Louis tied Dallas and Philadelphia with the most first-teamers on UPI all-conference, four!
More awards: Sports Illustrated concurs with AP that the NFL coach of the year is Jack Pardee and acclaims Ottis Anderson of St. Louis, who beat Camplell's rookie rushing marks, as rookie of the year . . .In baseball, the Sporting News reviews the 1970s and puts in company with Ted Williams (1940s), Stan Musial (1950s and Willie Mays (1960s) as player of the decade the man who complied more hits, at-bats, runs scored, doubles, games played than any other over these 10 years: Pete Rose . . .
The NFL has certified the order of draft, working down from worst 1979 W-L to best with ties broken by giving advantage to team whose opponents aggregated poorer percentage -- and the Redskins are 19th in the order. Baltimore, New England and Green Bay, because of trades, will have two picks in the opening, 28-selection rounds. The draft is set for April 30-May 1, in New York . . .
When the roll is called down yonder in New Orleans (drafting 12th), Steve Rosenbloom will be there. The former L.A. Ram executive officially was hired yesterday as executive veep-general manager of the Saints; will sell the minor interest in the Rams willed him by his late father Carroll, and will set about trying to steal NFC West domination from stepmother Georgia's moving-to-Anaheimers.
"I will have a fundamental say in who is drafted and traded," Rosenbloom declared.
Maryland football has landed three more area stalwarts: Carroll's all-league DB Clarence Baldwin, Oakton's 6-4 fullback-sprinter Doug Burmeister, Stuart's speedball RB-WR Kenny Roberts. Burmeister teamed with Kurt Beathard, quarterbacking son of Redskin chief Bobby Beathard, in the Oakton backfield but talent scout extraordinaire Beathard pegs Burmeister as more likely at tight end. And, we don't mean to fan the flames again, but despite Ken Beatrice's assessment on WMAL that first-picking Detroit most likely would draft passer Marc Wilson (if it doesn't trade the pick), Beathard sees no reason the Lions wouldn't go for Billy Sims at the top . . .
Willie Horton, the American League's outstanding designated hitter of 1979, has -- after failing to agree to terms with Baltimore, the Yankees, K.C. or Oakland, the clubs that took him in the reentry draft -- agreed to a three-year contract to keep on filling the power alleys in Seattle's Kingdome . . . Jeff Burroughs, the American League MVP of 1974 as a Ranger, now says he might reconsider and become the player to be named later that Atlanta owes texas because he balked at going back to the Rangers in the club's recent several-player trade.