Schroeder boosts Raiders; high-tech swimming

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

With the addition of quarterback Jay Schroeder, the Los Angeles Raiders may have pro football's most interesting and dangerous collection of offensive talents. Schroeder, picked up in a deal with the Washington Redskins, could be just the player needed to ignite an explosive mix of game breakers, including superlative running back Marcus Allen, all-star-caliber receiver James Lofton, world-class sprinter-turned-receiver Willie Gault, rookie receiver and runback man Tim Brown, and, once the baseball season ends, runner Bo Jackson, who averaged 6.8 yards a carry during seven games last year. Allen, Jackson, and Brown (who scored on a 97-yard kickoff return in L.A.'s season-opening victory over San Diego) were all Heisman Trophy winners in college. The Raiders, caught in a downward slide in recent seasons, have been on the lookout for an experienced passer with an ability to throw the long ball. Schroeder should fill the bill and is expected to eventually replace Steve Beuerlein.

Jay led the Redskins to the 1986 NFC championship game and has completed 34 passes of 40 yards or more since 1985. His performance and attitude seemed to deteriorate after he lost his starting job to Doug Williams last season, but a change of scenery could work wonders. Golden tennis goal

Pam Shriver might alleviate a decade's worth of tennis frustrations by winning a gold medal at the Olympics, where Americans Chris Evert and Zina Garrison will join her in the women's competition. In 1978, as a precocious 16-year-old, she made the finals of the US Open, but has never made it to a Grand Slam championship match since.

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People keep wondering when she will break through, and who knows, maybe her long-shot status in Seoul will be an advantage. She is coming off a poor showing at the US Open, where she was a second-round loser to a little-known Soviet player, Leila Meskhi.

And what are her thoughts heading into the Games? ``This is just bizarre. I have no idea,'' she says. ``All I know is that I just better not forget my player badge.'' High-tech swimming tank

US swimming is on the verge of plunging into a new era of sophistication. The main reason is the watery ``treadmill'' built in Colorado Springs, Colo., for roughly $1 million.

Larry McCollum, director of the United States Olympic Training Center, where this 60,000-gallon flume is situated, has called the apparatus ``the world's largest human blender.'' As the star of a new aquatic research center, the flume will be used in studying swimmers, analyzing their strokes, and making suggestions to improve propulsion.

Three underwater viewing windows are strategically placed in the swimming tank, where a current of 0 to 2.5 meters per second can be produced. The fastest swimmers in the world can reach 2.25 meters per second. A safety net is placed at the back of the tank to catch anyone momentarily overtaken by the flow. Loosen up, baseball

Shouldn't baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth step in and give Fred Lynn permission to play in the postseason if the Detroit Tigers make it that far? Doing so would seem a reasonable course of action given the Tigers' honesty and major effort to have Lynn, traded by Baltimore, join the team in Chicago by a prescribed midnight deadline the other week.

The Tigers, who chartered a plane at great expense, refused to tell any white lies when Lynn's flight landed at 12:30 a.m., causing their new acquisition to be ineligible for the playoffs and World Series.

This all seems pretty absurd, and though the rule may have been written for a good reason, common sense should suspend a strict interpretation on some occasions, including this one. As for whether teams should be allowed to replenish their rosters during the last weeks of a long season, well, that is a whole different question. Touching other bases

Martina Navratilova might feel a bit slighted by all the attention lavished on Steffi Graf and her Grand Slam. When Graf beat Gabriela Sabatini in last Saturday's US Open final, she tied the ribbon on the first tennis Slam since Margaret Court won the four major championships in 1970. Navratilova, however, once strung together six majors in a row, but without being credited with a slam. The run began in 1983 and lapped over into '84, thus not fulfilling the pure definition of a Grand Slam, namely victories at Wimbledon and the Australian, French, and US Opens all within the space of a calendar year.

The New England Patriots are the 60-minutemen of football. Since the National Football League adopted overtimes in 1974, the Patriots have played in 10 such sessions and lost each time.

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