After all these years -- every fall since 1932 except for 1942-44 -- West Point and Annapolis are relocating the annual Army-Navy football classic from Philadelphis's John F. Kennedy Stadium.
To Veterans Stadium, just across the street from JFK.
Brass give as primary reasons the switch to artificial turf, better shelter for fans chilled in the bitter late-afternoons-turning-to-dusk on game days around the first of December -- and dwindling attendance with the academies' slip from the heights of college football. JFK holds about 100,000 spectators, the Vet 71,400; last year, 77,052 saw Navy square the series, 37-37-6, for the first time in 56 years with its 31-7 victory.
Shift for Game 81 (Nov. 29) unofficial yet, but confirmation could come this week.
So that will leave the arena, built in 1926 for a world's fair -- christened Philadelphia Stadium, later Municipal Stadium, then JFK after the assassination -- a dingy ghost for 365 days a year instead of 364.
And if a stroller through the cavernous structure listens close, he'll be able to hear the echoes of not only the 100,000 each Army-Navy day, but of the 127,000 there for the first Dempsey-Tunney fight in 1926 . . .
Tracy Austin moved up to No. 1 yesterday in the Women's Tennis Association computerized ranking -- youngest ever on that pinnacle, at 17 -- and left Martina Navratilove, dropped to No. 2, to complain that the media is trying to develop a feud between her and Austin.
"i say one thing and the press goes to Tracy and tells her what I said, then they come back to me and ask me about what she said," said Navratilova. "it goes on and on and on. I hate to disappoint them because it's not going to work. They tried to do that with Chris (Evert) and me but it didn't work."
Abe Pollin has a plan for Capitals season-ticket holders who took the plunge on playoff admissions, if they'll let their investment stand as a deposit toward 1980-81 season tickets: an automobile caravan to Hershey, Pa., training camp this fall, underwritten by the Caps (maybe with side trip to Hersheypark).
Upon arrival, the fans will attend an intrasquad scrimmage, take part in a chalk-talk Q. and Q. session with coach and general manager, be treated to buffet lunch and get a chance to mingle with the players. Chocolate with hockey nuts, as it were.
Eloy (Buck) Canel, who called World Series play-by-play in Spanish for North, South and Central America from the late 1930s into the early 1970s, is dead at 74; at his New York home, after a long illness. A native of Buenos Aires, he became an international journalist (Spanish of FDR in World War II speeches), and broadcast boxing and New York Yankee baseball for NBC . . .
Henry Aaron was dining at a Mongonia Park, Fla., restaurant Monday night when he noticed a man stumble "a little bit," straighten up, pull a gun and utter a racial slur. The fellow left, but Aaron caught his car license number and notified police, who said that when they arrested Howard Foster Hunt, 61, at his West Palm Beach home a little later, "he still had the gun." And, police say, Hunt had not an inkling that the man he insulted was Aaron, the home run king currently in the Atlanta Braves' front office.
More bad luck for John Carbray, deposed Diplomat soccer exec running NASL's San Jose Earthquakes: a flooded Spartan Stadium, 1.5 million gallons spilled either by vandals or a pipe break. Saturday home opener off . . .
The Archie Talley game to end 'em all: 116 points!
Washington's gift to West Germany's basketball Oberliga made fresh headlines as season neared its end by registering that record total in leading TV Clausen of Permasens past Germania of Trier, 130-92. As the clippings say, "Die 'Wurfmaschine' . . . die 'schwarze Perle' . . . 116 Korbpunkte."
Talley's season average: 64.1.