Johnny U.'s out-of-sight football record; Boston to honor Auerbach
Most every sport has at least one almost unreachable record. In baseball it's Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, in basketball Wilt Chamberlain's 100 -point game and 50.4 season scoring average. Though no football mark comes quickly to mind, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a candidate for ''unbreakable'' status:Johnny Unitas's string of 47 games with at least one touchdown pass.
Considering the next best string is 25 games by former Oakland Raider quarterback Daryle Lamonica, the Unitas record looks almost unassailable. He began the streak as a 1956 Baltimore rookie against Los Angeles, and ended it against the same team almost four years later. He missed two games during this time due to injury, but also threw TD passes in the 1958 and '59 championship games that did not count.
Big doings for Red
Red Auerbach may have eased himself out the day-to-day operation of the Boston Celtics, but the team's semi-retired legend, officially its president, is hardly forgotten.
On the weekend of Jan. 4 and 5, he will be feted as few others have ever been in the city's history. Before Friday night's Celtics-Knicks game, a banner bearing the number ''2'' will be raised to the Boston Garden rafters honoring Auerbach. (No. 1 belongs to Walter Brown, the club's original owner.) During his days as Boston's coach, Red helped decorate the Garden's ceiling with nine NBA championship banners, and later assisted in hoisting six more flags that were secured during his years as the Celtic general manager.
On Saturday an oldtimers basketball game, starring such former Celtic stars as Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, and Tom Heinsohn, will be played to benefit the Red Auerbach Foundation. This is a special endowment to promote athletic, recreational, and development opportunities for youth in Boston and Massachusetts. That evening some 1,500 people are expected at a $500-a-plate mega-party to salute Red.
Then in the fall of 1985 a sculpture of Auerbach will be placed in the Quincy Market area, the shopping and dining beehive several blocks from the Boston Garden.
Boxing's place in Olympics
There often seems to be more controversy in the Olympic boxing arena than at any other competition site. The Games in Los Angeles witnessed their share, and those in Seoul, South Korea probably will too in 1988. Beyond these disputes, however, is the question of safety. Mandatory headguards may some day not be sufficient to keep boxing on the Olympic program.
No less a figure than Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee and a former boxer himself, has expressed reservations about this ''very dangerous'' sport. Samaranch believes the IOC should seriously study what it means to box today.
The Swedes, who once had laws prohibiting boxing, kept it off the Olympic program in 1912. In brief
* For all its get-tough talk, the National Hockey League is still soft on violence. Nightly fights are bad enough, but the real proof the league lacks backbone came earlier this season after Minnesota's Paul Holmgren speared Hartford's Torrie Robertson in the face with his stick. For this Holmgren received only a 10-game suspension, a mere hand slap. Robertson was not badly injured, but that shouldn't have any bearing on Holmgren's punishment.
* Anyone concerned about the Super Bowl conflicting with the Presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 can relax. Mr. Reagan will be sworn in twice, first during a private ceremony Sunday, then with the usual fanfare on The Capitol steps the next day. This is not being done to accomodate the Chief Executive's desire to watch the game or place a congratulatory call to the locker room afterward. It simply is the established procedure whenever the inauguration falls on a Sunday.
* Like flight attendants, football officials tend to sound the same, at least when they announce penalties using clip-on field mikes. The equipment obviously isn't designed to produce studio-quality sound in huge stadiums.
* Do you recognize the sport being described in the following excerpt? ''Each player takes a different pose and holds it like an overconscientious mime student, and then we have all this red-blue-hut business.'' The sport is football seen through the eyes of Simon Barnes, who shared his impressions of an NFL exhibition game played in England with readers of the London Times. Barnes was particularly enthralled by those moments when the game ''leaps from the pedestrian to the exalted,'' as when ''the wide receiver clings on to the impossible ball in the teeth of a band of murderous ruffians. . . .''