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PRO FOOTBALL—Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. For the Patriots, it was a whole week. First came a sudden-death overtime loss to Cleveland in a seesaw game that had Monday night fans glued to their sets well after midnight. The Pats led 17-7 at the half, but pinpoint passing by Brian Sipe and slippery running by little Greg Pruitt, who gained 151 yards in 26 carries, put the Browns back into the game. Field goals by both teams in the final minute tied the score at 27, but a 35-yarder by Don Cockroft gave Cleveland a 30-27 sudden-death upset. Then it was the Jets' turn. You remember the fumbling, penalty-prone Jets? Well, the kids finally got their act together. With one minute to go, Al Palewicz recovered Mike Haynes' fumble and with 23 seconds remaining Pat Leahy kicked a tie-breaking 32-yard field goal to hand New England another 30-27 loss. Unbeaten Cleveland was the error-prone team on Sunday, with two fumbles and three interceptions. Terry Bradshaw threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as Pittsburgh downed the Browns 28-14. A devastating Falcon defense sacked Giant quarterbacks nine times for minus 81 yards, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pair of passes as Atlanta thumped the Giants 17-3. Unbeaten Baltimore barely squeaked by win-less Buffalo 17-14 as Bert Jones completed 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown; Joe Ferguson connected on 19 of 38 for 234 yards and two touchdowns, but two interceptions and three fumbles cost Buffalo the game. New Orleans got its first win of the season as Archie Manning ran for three touchdowns and passed for another in a 42-24 whipping of the Bears. Minnesota defeated Green Bay 19-7 and Tampa Bay extended its losing streak to 17 straight by falling to Dallas 23-7. Washington surprised St. Louis 24-14 behind Billy Kilmer's three touchdown passes. The Los Angeles offense, led by John Cappelletti and Lawrence McCutcheon, who each ran for two touchdowns, combined with a stout defense to defeat San Francisco 34-14. Favored Cincinnati could only cash in on a second-quarter field goal as it fell to San Diego 24-3. Denver downed Seattle 24-13, Detroit beat Philadelphia 17-13 and Miami defeated Houston 27-7 (page 111).
GOLF—In his first win since 1974, MILLER BARBER shot a 16-under-par 272 to take the $200,000 Anheuser-Busch Classic in Napa, Calif., finishing two strokes ahead of George Archer and three in front of Howard Twitty, who shot a course-record 62 in the final round.
HORSERACING—In the third straight week of downpours at Belmont Park, highly favored LAKEVILLE MISS ($4.60), under Ruben Hernandez, cinched 2-year-old filly honors by finishing five lengths ahead of Misgivings to win the $107,800 Frizette. The former $25,000 claimer covered the mile on a wet fast track in 1:36[1/5]. Two races later, the track had turned to slop and the longest shot in the field, PROUD BIRDIE ($84.40) two pounds over at 113 including Jacinto Vasquez, stole the $279,600 Marlboro Cup, crossing the line � of a length in front of pacesetter Private Thoughts. The Proud Clarion colt ran the mile and a quarter in 2:00[4/5], [4/5] of a second slower than Forego's 1976 stakes record. The big gelding was scratched the day before the race because of a swollen ankle, thereby clouding his bid for Horse of the Year honors and a chance to break Kelso's alltime earnings record.
Despite breaking from post position 18, ALLEGED ($4.90), under a brilliant ride by Lester Piggott, won the $414,120 Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps in Paris, finishing a length and a half ahead of Balmerino. The 3-year-old Irish-trained colt covered the mile-and-a-half turf course in 2:30.60.
Sin Timon, an 18-to-1 shot ridden by Tony Kimberley, rallied to win the 139th Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket, England, rewarding three Irish Sweepstakes ticket holders with prizes of $131,250 each.
MOTOR SPORTS—JAMES HUNT, averaging 100.98 mph in the rain, barely held off an onrushing Mario Andretti to win the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, N.Y. Andretti overcame a 17-second deficit in the last four laps to finish 2.026 seconds (100 yards) behind Hunt. Niki Lauda's fourth-place finish secured his second world championship (page 108).
TENNIS—VIRGINIA WADE triumphed in the $220,000 World Invitational at Hilton Head, S.C., winning the top prize of $50,000 for her four victories in singles and doubles competition. She outpointed second-place Bjorn Borg, who beat Roscoe Tanner 6-4, 7-5 in the men's singles, by teaming with Vitas Gerulaitis for a mixed doubles victory over Tanner and Kerry Reid.
Unseeded BUTCH WALTS scored 16 aces and broke top-seeded Brian Gottfried's service twice in the final set to take the $125,000 Transamerica Open at San Francisco, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Earlier in the week, Gottfried lost to RAUL RAMIREZ, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, in the $100,000 Southern California Open in Los Angeles.