PRO FOOTBALL—On the eve of the NFL's 63rd season, a players' strike failed to materialize, but agreement between the Players Association and the owners still seemed remote. In Seattle, the Seahawks voted to play their opener against Cleveland despite what they considered the unjust release of their player representative, Wide Receiver Sam McCullum. All 54 Seahawks petitioned the management to reinstate McCullum, and the possibility remained of a wildcat strike later in the week. Meanwhile, Seattle fans staged a walkout of their own: There were nearly 9,000 no-shows at the Kingdome as the Browns won 21-7. In San Francisco, the Super Bowl champion 49ers fell 23-17 before a late surge mounted by their erstwhile cross-bay rivals, the Raiders, now relocated downstate. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Allen, had 116 yards on 23 carries for the transplants. The other Los Angeles team lost-35-23 to Green Bay. Lynn Dickey passed for two touchdowns within 17 seconds as the Pack came back after trailing the Rams 23-0 at halftime. In Philadelphia, both Redskin Joe Theismann and Eagle Ron Jaworski had big days, each passing for nearly 400 yards, but Mark Mosely provided the difference, hitting a 48-yard field goal as time ran out and then kicking a 26-yarder at 4:47 of overtime to give Washington a 37-34 upset victory. The Miami Dolphins, winless in their last eight meetings with the Jets, ended four years of frustration with a 45-28 romp in New York. In New Orleans, only the jeers that greeted the Saints-Cardinals' "solidarity handshake" at the outset of the game were louder than those directed at Archie Manning when he briefly replaced starter Ken Stabler at quarterback. Manning, benched for the first time in his 12-year career, went 1 for 7 with two interceptions as the Saints lost to St. Louis 21-7. In other games, Atlanta edged the Giants 16-14 on a last-second field goal; Cincinnati shut down Houston 27-6; San Diego crushed Denver 23-3; Buffalo defeated Kansas City 14-9; Minnesota dispatched Tampa Bay and Detroit topped Chicago by 17-10 scores; and in a battle matching last season's two worst teams, New England beat Baltimore 24-13 (page 26).
GOLF—JoANNE CARNER shot a 14-under-par 202 to win her third tournament in a row, the $125,000 Rail Charity Classic in Springfield, Ill. She finished six strokes ahead of Susie McAllister.
Bob Gilder, shooting a 13-under-par 271, won a $300,000 PGA event in Sutton, Mass. by two strokes over Fuzzy Zoeller.
Sandra Spuzich fired a final round 67 for a 54-hole total of 206, one stroke better than Carole Charbonnier, to win a $155,000 LPGA tournament in Dallas.
HORSE RACING—MR. MASTER BUG ($4.20), Jacky Martin up, defeated Miss Squaw Hand by three-quarters of a length to win the $2 million All-American Futurity for quarter horses at Ruidoso Downs, N. Mex. The 2-year-old colt, who earned $1 million for his owner with the victory, covered the 440 yards in 22.20 seconds.
MOTOR SPORTS—BOBBY ALLISON drove his Chevrolet to victory in a 400-lap Grand National event in Richmond, averaging 82.800 mph around the .542-mile Fairgrounds Raceway oval. He beat Tim Richmond, in a Buick, by 15 seconds.
Rene Arnoux won the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, averaging 136.39 mph for 52 laps of the 3.6-mile circuit and finishing 14.06 seconds ahead of Patrick Tambay, in a Ferrari.
Cale Yarborough, in a Buick, outdueled Richard Petty, in a Pontiac, to win the $361,800 Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C. by two car lengths. Yarborough averaged 115.224 mph around the 1.366-mile Darlington International Raceway oval.
SOCCER—The New York Cosmos might as well have a permanent bye to the final of the NASL playoffs. For the third year in a row and the fifth time in six years, they are Soccer Bowl-bound. And as usual the Cosmos' aging striker, 35-year-old Giorgio Chinaglia, had a foot in the action, scoring at 1:51 of overtime to give New York its fourth (counting the regular season) straight 2-1 win over San Diego. Kenny Hibbitt, a midfielder who joined Seattle at midseason from the English first division, scored an unassisted goal at 92:56 to give the Sounders a 1-0 victory in the decisive third game against Fort Lauderdale. Two nights earlier, Hibbitt had performed similar heroics, scoring with 11:17 to go in overtime for a 4-3 Seattle win. So the 1982 Soccer Bowl will be a rematch of the 1977 final, which the Cosmos won 2-1.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS defeated Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to win the men's singles at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, N.Y., while CHRIS EVERT won her sixth women's title, dispatching Hana Mandlikova 6-3, 6-1 (page 16). KEVIN CURREN and STEVE DENTON beat Victor Amaya and Hank Pfister 6-2, 6-7, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the finals of the men's doubles competition; ROSIE CASALS and WENDY TURNBULL won the women's doubles crown with a 6-2, 6-7, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Barbara Potter and Sharon Walsh; and in the mixed doubles, ANNE SMITH and CURREN defeated Potter and Ferdi Paygan 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 for the title.