'Robert Irsay says his Colts will "get" John Elway -- flat out, says, "We're going to get Elway," when the Denver Broncos play Baltimore (first matchup, Sept. 11, already, in Memorial Stadium)--and if that doesn't perk up Rozellian ears . . .

This was club owner Irsay, at his Skokie-Chicago base, gloating over the signing of Chris Hinton, the rookie lineman obtained from Denver in the deal for the Stanford quarterback who topped the NBA draft:

"Elway who?" said Irsay. "I always wanted Chris Hinton. And we got the quarterback I wanted in (Bronco reserve Mark) Herrmann. We also signed a couple of boys this week who are looking for Elway."

And on Irsay went: "Elway got his way, but he didn't get his way. He wanted to play on the West Coast and we put him 500 miles from the West Coast." Reportedly set to pay Hinton $1.5 million spread over four years, Irsay said he might have been able to sign Elway, but "I'm as bright if not brighter than he is. He didn't want to work for us, so why hire him? He'll never be any good" . . .

Denver's Mile High Stadium, as expected, will be the site of USFL Championship I, July 17. One factor: the Gold has topped 41,000 attendance every home game. Another: climate. "Denver in July," said selection committee member Bill Daniels, "is more conducive to football than any other city." And in mid-May? AAA baseball last night, Indianapolis at Denver: postponed, snow . . .

Jack Thompson, Bengals' sub quarterback who sat out half of 1982 trying to break his contract and be a starter, in USFL, if need be: he has things just about worked out with Cincinnati management and tells Coach Forrest Gregg he'll be there, eager, at upcoming minicamp . . . George Halas, Bears' owner hospitalized since March 3, apologizes for missing minicamps but declares, "I look forward with eagerness to the opening of our regular camp in July." Halas is 88.