Three games of the Washington Federals of the United States Football League will be televised on ESPN, a team spokesman said. They will be March 14 against the Express in Los Angeles, April 11 at RFK against the Arizona Wranglers, and June 20 against the Michigan Panthers at the Silverdome. Several Federals games are also expected to be on ABC, but that network's schedule has not been released . . .

Minnesota Vikings Coach Bud Grant says he told us so. The week before last, the New England Patriots beat Miami with a field goal made possible when a machine cleared a spot for the kicker. Miami Coach Don Shula was irate, and the next day Grant predicted that quick action would be taken on the matter. Yesterday, Grant got a new National Football League rule in the mail dealing with clearing the field in case of bad weather. "Didn't I tell you?" Grant said. "Favorite sons get taken care of. Dallas and Miami don't run into problems."

Grant thought what New England did was "terrific." "It's what you call a home-field advantage. After all, we got to live up here in this stuff. We all can't live in Miami. We've been playing in this weather for 40 years" . . .

Detroit cornerback James Hunter, who suffered a neck injury Sunday in the Lions' 34-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, has been told by team physicians he must retire from football.

Dr. Robert Teitge, the Lions' chief physician, said that if Hunter continued to play, he would risk permanent injury because of a recurring spinal condition . . .

The city of Oakland's attempt to bring back the Los Angeles Raiders by acquiring the team through eminent-domain proceedings will be heard March 16 in Superior Court in Salinas, Calif. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Robert O'Farrell set the date at a hearing yesterday.