The 6-foot-9 subject says it ain't so, but what fan is hotstoving without risk of getting burned? So listen up:
Ed (Too Tall) Jones will soon give up boxing and return to the Cowboys, according to Dallas sources -- pointing to John Riggins' big touchdown run for the Redskins in Texas Stadium as the catalyst.
"When Riggins ran 66 yards over right end on a play that seemingly won the game (and division title) for Washington, Jones (spectating) couldn't take it any more. That was his end they ran around."
So states Norm Hitzges, breaking the story on his radio talk show, in quoting the same source he says gave him 17 days' advance notice of Jones' decision to quit football after the 1978 season.
Jones counters with, "I'm only concentrating on one thing right now: boxing, and I'm enjoying it." And with, "I was told Hollywood Henderson mentioned the two of us going to some team in a package deal . . . probably joking with some guy in the Super Bowl". . .
Hitzges says Jones will go through with scheduled bouts in Jacksonville and Atlanta, then -- even if unbeaten, as he is this far in his brief ring career -- retire to the friendly confines of NFL gridirons.
The Cowboys would take him back in a minute.
Not yet out of Oakland Mills High School out Columbia, Md., way, Darryl Gee has come a long way in the soccer world -- now acquired by the mighty Cosmos from the Minnesota Kicks for their first- and second-round draft choices. Minnesota had made Gee, 17, the second player selected overall in the recent 1980 NASL draft.
Playing forward, Gee scored 25 goals last high school season and won every conceivable honor -- just as he had from age 9 on up in the Columbia Association. He is on the U.S. National junior squad that recently played the West German national squad in California and Florida, and that is set for a tournament in Switzerland in March. You have to save something for after graduation, though, so the Cosmos expect to wait till June to negotiate Gee's contract. . . .
The new owners of the Mets pledged, at a packed Shea Stadium news conference yesterday, to win back the fans of New York. Fred Wilpon of Sterling Equities will serve as president and chief executive of the baseball team while Nelson Doubleday of the publishing company will be Mets chairman of the board, they announced.
Wilpon declared, "We want the fans to know that we will bring a winner to New York and we'll do everything, including spending money, to show them that these people care . . . This is a lifelong dream for a kid who grew up in Brooklyn." Wilpon recalled being a teammate of Sandy Koufax at Lafayette High -- "I was the pitcher and Sandy was the first baseman". . .
From Tucson: Jesse Owens, the track great hospitalized with lung cancer at 66, says, "I'm fighting the biggest battle of my life and with the help of (my doctors), I'll win this race". . .
Being No. 1 is not the be-all for everybody. Chris Nikitas, a soph guard for top-ranked De Paul, has quit the team to transfer to St. Michael's, a Division II school in Vermont. Nikitas -- eight points in six games -- wants more playing time.
Another NBA forward with a shattered cheekbone, and out indefinitely, anywhere from three weeks to the rest of the season: Scott Wedman of Kansas City, and there goes one of the West All-Star from the Feb. 3 game here. Wedman was struck by an elbow thrown by Jerome Whitehead of Utah Thursday night -- no foul called, as officials were screened out on the play . . .
The 1979 World Series film opened to mixed reviews in Bowie Kuhn's New York office -- critics cited too much footage of fandom, too little of key plays. But simultaneous premiere by the Baltimore Orioles in a Municipal Stadium lounge proved pretty peppy, and the Birds say any organization wanting to borrow same, free, for showing need only contact the Oriole p.r. office . . .
And, hey, way to go, WJLA-TV-7! Pro bowling's back (tape-delay) as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday.