FOOTBALL—Although the exhibition season started slowly and it sometimes seemed almost more important who wasn't playing than who was, BUFFALO, minus fabled O.J. Simpson, handed new Washington Coach Vince Lombardi his first loss to an AFL team 21-17. Lombardi-led teams had previously defeated Kansas City and Oakland in the Super Bowl. LOS ANGELES End Wendell Tucker got free for an 85-yard touchdown pass from Roman Gabriel and rookie Mike Foote blocked a punt which teammate Willie Daniel fell on in the end zone—all within 64 seconds of the third quarter as the Rams held off Dallas 24-17 before more than 87,000 in the Coliseum. GREEN BAY fans at Lambeau Field were ecstatic as Mike Mercer's 17-yard field goal, with 21 seconds left, beat the New York Giants 22-21. The three-pointer was Mercer's fifth of the game and followed a crucial interception by Safety Tom Brown. BALTIMORE, with 36-year-old Johnny Unitas completing a dozen passes in one quarter, held off a late Oakland threat and edged the Raiders 34-30. Meanwhile, the Colts' old nemesis, Joe Namath, stood frustrated while his Jet teammates dropped passes and penalized themselves out of scoring opportunities. Jackie Smith's 26-yard touchdown reception wrapped up ST. LOUIS' 13-6 win. Backup Quarterback Gary Cuozzo picked up the MINNESOTA attack after a knee injury hobbled starter Joe Kapp, and passed the Vikings to a 26-6 victory over Denver. SAN DIEGO, held to two first downs at halftime by the New Orleans defense, scored on Keith Lincoln's four-yard run at the start of the fourth quarter and won 10-7. ATLANTA got by Philadelphia 13-7 in a battle between the two worst teams in the NFL last season. KANSAS CITY, staked to a 22-point first half by Len Dawson's passing, Frank Pitts' receiving (two TDs) and Jan Stenerud's kicking, took Detroit apart 38-13. CHICAGO was behind 10-3 early in the fourth quarter when a free-for-all appeared to spark the Bear offense to 13 quick points and a 16-10 decision over Miami. The victors was the NFL's sixth in nine games of interleague competition. BOSTON Quarterback Mike Taliaferro tossed a pair of first-half touchdown passes and John Outlaw lived up to his name by making off with rookie Greg Cook's pass late in the game, as the Patriots beat Cincinnati 21-13. CLEVELAND came back from a 16-7 halftime deficit to top San Francisco 24-19, despite the efforts of former Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier, who drove the 49ers to the seven-yard line as the gun sounded.
GOLF—KEN STILL came home with a sparkling 65 on the tough 7,075-yard North Shore Country Club course for a 72-hole total of 277, 11 under par, to win the $100,000 Greater Milwaukee Open and virtually assure himself of a berth on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Still, who finished two strokes ahead of Gary Player, broke out of a brief tie with the South African when he birdied the 15th and 16th holes. He then saved a par on the 18th, getting out of trouble after his second shot went over the green and into the scorer's tent.
Dan Sikes, who had never seen the course before, Shot a record-tying 68 the first day and a 67 the second to win the $10,000 first prize in the American Pro-Youth Golf Classic in Columbus, Ind.
HARNESS RACING—NEVELE PRIDE eased to a four-length victory in the $50,000 American Trotting Championship at Roosevelt Raceway, thereby qualifying as the U.S. representative in the $100,000 Roosevelt International Aug. 16.
HORSE RACING—Belmont Stakes winner ARTS AND LETTERS ($2.20), topweighted against three rivals, ran away to a 10-length triumph in the $27,850 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, while 3-year-old filly SHUVEE ($4) had a similarly easy time with four other starters in the $54,400 Alabama Stakes.
At Monmouth Park RING FOR NURSE ($17.80) closed out the track's 59-day meet with a three-quarter-length victory in the $112,580 Sapling Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds.
MACCABIAH GAMES—The U.S. made a strong showing in Tel Aviv, winning gold medals in water polo, men's golf ( Bruce Fleisher shot 285), platform diving (Debbie Lipman won), swimming (siblings Mark and Nancy Spitz took 10 golds) and tennis (Allen Fox and Julie Heldman won the singles titles). Biggest disappointment for America was the basketball team, which won five straight games and then fell to host Israel. Final gold medal count: U.S. 64, Israel 48, Great Britain 11.
MOTOR SPORTS—LEE ROY YARBROUGH set two national NASCAR records by driving a Ford to victory in the Dixie 500-mile classic at Atlanta's International Raceway. The race was the fifth major triumph of the sear for Yarbrough and the $17,850 first prize brought his earnings to $140,000 this season. He also set a Dixie classic record with an average speed of 133 miles per hour.
TENNIS—CLARK GRAEBNER won the $12,000 Meadow Club Grass Court tournament at Southampton. L.I., N.Y., defeating his U.S. Davis Cup teammate Bob Lutz 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. Graebner, ranked second in the nation, won $3,050 for his singles victory and another $700 when he and Lutz teamed to defeat Allan Stone of Australia and Onny Parun of New Zealand 7-5, 7-5, in doubles.
Out of touch but not out of action, Army Private CHARLIE PASARELL won the Interservice Singles Championship at Arlington, Va. The nation's seventh-ranking player and Davis Cup team member defeated Air Force Lieut. Brian Cheney 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.