San Francisco 45, Dallas 14, and nothing in the game action worth showing on the halftime highlights of ABC's Monday Night Football?
Forty-Niner Coach Bill Walsh, mad as the dickens, suggests an ulterior motive: obviously, he said, the network didn't want to risk diluting interest in its upcoming telecast of Sunday night's Cowboys-Rams.
Walsh carried on:
"The football elitists, jockstrap elitists don't consider us in the comfort zone. There are power sources, influence sources in the National Football League, groupies, 45-year-old men that are football groupies that prefer that we do not exist so they can hold on to their football contracts and associations or power groups."
Well! Monday Night Football producer Bob Goodrich denies that his decision -- no, Howard Cosell doesn't choose the highlights, just narrates -- was influenced by the approach of a Dallas game on ABC . . .
Wes Matthews, last year's Bullet rookie traded to Atlanta at midseason and tabbed this fall as starting point guard by new Hawk Coach Kevin Loughery: add him to the NBA casualty list. Matthews became entangled with Kansas City's Phil Ford during a closed scrimmage and broke a bone on top of his foot. He can't play for six to eight weeks -- and here the Hawks are indefinitely without their other starting guard, too, as Eddie Johnson continues under psychiatric care . . .
In Denver, Maryland's Greg Manning has been cut by the Nuggets, but no disgrace for seventh-round draftee Manning: Nuggets also gave up on their No. 1 pick, Pan American U. forward Kenneth Green, will go with an all-veteran roster of 12 . . .
In Portland, former Trail Blazer center Bill Walton refuses to answer questions about cocaine use that he considers an invasion of privacy, prompting defendants (the Blazers' doctor and an orthopedic clinic) in his $5.6 million medical malpractice suit to ask that the case be dismissed. They contend drug use might have been a factor in Walton's career-ending foot injury or affected his perceptions at the time. Walton, by affidavit, countered: "I am prepared to testify that I did not use cocaine during the 1977-78 professional season, nor have I ever used it when I have been involved in professional or college basketball . . . nor has it interfered with the rehabilitation of any injury and, specifically, injuries to my left foot." And no more questions, please, he insists, citing his constitutional rights . . .
LeRoy Jolley, the thoroughbred trainer, and owner-breeder Bert Firestone have split after a 10-year association. Firestone and wife Diana teamed with Jolley for success with Genuine Risk, General Assembly, Honest Pleasure et al., but now part "amicably". . . Proud Appeal, a $366,826 earner although out of the money as 1981 Kentucky Derby favorite, has been retired to Gainesway Farm, Lexington, Ky. Fractured sesamoid on his left front ankle, maybe why he fared poorly in recent races . . .
Teeny Qatar humbled mighty England, 2-1, in the World Youth Soccer Championship semifinals at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia yesterday -- and rioting broke out among English fans, again. A beer bottle hit Qatar's star striker behind the head . . .
A. Former heavyweight champ Ingemar Johansson debuted in the 1981 Stockholm marathon, next goes in the Oct. 25 New York City Marathon . . . Q. With Oakland's 217-game scoring streak long gone, what NFL team currently has scored in the most consecutive games? What's the record?