Gene Upshaw and Art Shell will retire after this season, and if the move from Oakland didn't end a Raiders era, surely that word from Los Angeles does.

NFL Players Association President Upshaw and Shell, his companion on the left side of the offensive line for 13 great seasons before they slipped to second string last year, have been, said Coach Tom Flores, "winners, leaders and team players."

Guard Upshaw was Oakland's No. 1 pick in the 1967 draft out of Texas A & I; his next postseason game will be his 25th, extending his AFC record. Tackle Shell was the Raiders' No. 3 selection in 1968, out of Maryland State (now Maryland-Eastern Shore) . . .

Strike aftermath: San Diego Chargers players reported voting unanimously this week for ouster of Ed Garvey as NFLPA executive director. This from the Daily Californian of El Cajon . . .

U.S. Football League's Philadelphia Stars, still coachless, have made good their threat to sue Michigan State over the defection of George Perles. The Stars are asking U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, for $1 million damages and an injunction to prevent MSU "from employing or utilizing the services" of Perles. Six months into a three-year coaching contract that lured him from the Pittsburgh Steelers' staff to Philadelphia, Perles on Dec. 3 accepted a five-year deal with his alma mater . . . Jim Shofner quits, as of season's end, as Houston Oilers' offensive coordinator; Coach Ed Biles says believe Shofner's explanation of a "tremendous business opportunity," his departure has nothing to do with the Oilers' bottom rank in AFC offense . . .

Quarterback Club's pick as outstanding Redskin of the year, for luncheon citation Jan. 4, is twofold: John Riggins and Mark Moseley . . . In the NFL Man of the Year competition, recognizing community involvement, Joe Theismann is the Redskin nominee a second consecutive time and is one of five finalists. Others: James Lofton, Marty Lyons, Rolf Benirschke, Reggie Williams. Winner is honored at the Pro Bowl and a $5,000 scholarship awarded in his name . . .

One end zone of the Superdome field already has "Penn State" painted on for the Sugar Bowl, but CBS brass grin and bear the thought of Redskins-Saints viewers Sunday seeing "free advertising" for ABC's New Year's night telecast.

Horse Racing: Traces of the painkiller morphine have been found in three quarter horses running at Los Alamitos Race Course in California, one a longshot winner and all owned by Dr. Edward C. Allred. "I don't know who is doing this or why," Allred said after a stewards' hearing . . . The owners of Spendthrift Farm outside Lexington, Ky., a thoroughbred breeding operation valued at $125 million, have rejected a plan to sell part interest in a move to avoid up to $70 million in inheritance taxes. Leslie Combs II, who owns 88 percent of Spendthrift, is 81. His son, Brownell Combs, who owns the other 12 percent, said, in deciding not to give up 40 percent to new investors, the family will pursue "other propositions" to limit tax liability in the event of Leslie Combs' death.