Edwin Moses streaks on; Replacing Herschel Walker; baseball mysteries
There have been many incredible athletic performances over the years, but certainly that of Edwin Moses has to rank right up near the top. The great 400 meter hurdler has now won 85 consecutive races in his specialty over a six-year span and lowered the world record four times - most recently on Wednesday night with a 47.02 seconds clocking in a meet at Koblenz, West Germany.
Moses and many other top US track and field athletes were absent from the recent Pan American Games, by the way, because of the world championships in Helsinki plus other meets in Europe, but the Americans still put on quite a show in Caracas. This year's games will always be best-remembered, of course, for the drug scandals which resulted in the disqualification of 15 athletes from 10 countries. Obscured by the publicity about drug testing, however, was what happened in the arenas, where US athletes garnered 137 gold medals and 285 overall, breaking both of their own previous Pan Am Games records set in 1979 at San Juan. Football, Hollywood style
The UCLA football team is getting a publicity ride this year like something straight out of - well, Hollywood! The defending Rose Bowl champions aren't simply resorting to standard newspaper ads and radio spots to increase ticket sales. They've got Heather Locklear of ''Dynasty'' doing a TV commercial for them wearing a Bruins' jersey, plus additional video impact from Los Angeles Laker's Owner Jerry Buss and California Angels' Chairman of the Board Gene Autry. The package was put together by a professional production company and looks it.
The world will find out what Georgia is like without running back Herschel Walker this weekend when the Bulldogs open at home against UCLA. Even though Georgia Coach Vince Dooley spent part of his vacation touring the People's Republic of China, the thought of having to find someone to replace Walker was never far from his mind. It may be that Dooley will eventually rely on numbers to compensate for Herschel, meaning a rotating system of former flanker Melvin Simmons, fullback Barry Young and 165 lb. scatback Tron Jackson, the human waterbug. The Bulldogs, coming off three consecutive Southeastern Conference titles, have produced the best won-lost record (33-3) in college football during the past three years.
In another interesting development on the college football scene, University of Washington running back Jacque Robinson, the Rose Bowl MVP in 1982 as a freshman and the Pacific 10 rushing champion as a sophomore, has been dropped to fourth string this year by Head Coach Don James. The reason? James says Robinson is carrying too much weight or at least enough so that his time for 40 yards is a lot closer to five seconds than Don would like. Baseball's mysterious waivers
Baseball's waiver system, whereby players move from one club to another between the designated trading periods, is as much a mystery to most fans as the infield fly rule. Basically, teams put players on waivers for two reasons: (1) Because they no longer want them; or (2) in the hope of finding out how much interest there is in the player, based on how many teams put in a claim for him. If the player should be claimed, it's no problem, because waivers are revocable and a new deal can be made later.However, any club that does claim a player is obligated to place him on its 25-man roster and pay his former club 20,000 for the privilege.
What is surprising this year is how, in just a few days, Rick Honeycutt was traded by Texas to Los Angeles; Manny Trillo from Cleveland to Montreal; John Montefusco from San Diego to New York; and Len Barker from Cleveland to Atlanta. The point is every team below Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, and Atlanta in the standings could have put in a claim for any one of those players and didn't. Either their is a gentlemen's agreement among the owners to help each other when they can or else a lot of clubs are experiencing tremedous financial problems. Off the grapevine
The NFL San Fransisco 49ers, who had no first-round pick in this year's college player draft, have no complaints. Tony Razzano, the 49ers Director of College Scouting is extremely high on Roger Craig, a 222 lb. fullback from Nebraska, who was taken on the second round. ''Craig not only has exceptional running and pass catching ability, but he also knows how to block,'' Rozzano explained. ''He's the kind of rugged, hard-hitting back that every pro team wants on his roster. Frankly we never expected Roger to last long enough for us to get a shot at him. Prior to the draft, we had him rated as the 15th best senior in the country and he may actually be better than that.''
Two US syndicates hopeful of defending America's Cup, probably against Australia II, now have wing-like devices on the keel of their practice boats as a means of testing the effectivenes of the Australian design. ''Somebody's worried,'' said Warren Jones, manager of Australia II, which has dominated foreign competition with a 44-6 won-lost record in this summer's trials although it did sustain a surprising loss to Great Britain's Victory '83 in the opener of the best-of-seven challenger finals Wednesday. ''I wonder what happened to all those people who just a few weeks ago were saying that our keel design was illegal?'' Jones later commented. The races for the cup are scheduled to start off Newport, R.I. on September 13.