"My sporting interests have been limited," observes James Earl Jones, who now finds himself out doing roadwork and sparring with his trainer, Mushy Callahan. Jones has had to take up boxing intensively for the fight scenes in the film version of The Great White Hope—scenes which took place offstage in the play will be filmed by cameras peering too closely at Jones for use of a double. "I was a country boy, a farm boy, and that meant I was strong," Jones reports, summing up his athletic experience. Running, he finds, is "not actually lonely, but solitary, like a monk's life." And sparring? Instructed to throw a left hook, he threw a left hook, spraining his thumb, but that was against a friend named Muhammad Ali. Callahan, once the world's junior welterweight champion and a sometime referee, has faith. "I trained plenty of guys for the movies [among them, Kirk Douglas and Elvis Presley], but this fellow is going to be the best. This fellow is just great. The fight scenes are going to be great. He's going to get the Academy Award."
Last year Yale drafted John Hersey's dog, Handsome Dan XI, or Oliver, as he is known to his friends. In 1968 Athletic Director DeLaney Kiphuth reported to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author that Handsome Dan X, Yale's incumbent bulldog, did not seem up to a 10th season. Hersey came through like the Old Blue he is and began preparing his 2-year-old bulldog to carry on. He escorted Oliver faithfully to intramural games, so that come the '69 season Oliver would feel at ease on the sidelines. However, Hersey's gravest concern was "whether Oliver would stay awake for 2½ hours." The bulldog did, in fact, doze off during a couple of games, but Yale was rarely caught napping, finishing the season with a 7-2 record and a share of the Ivy League title.
"Shucks, I'm not mad at Philadelphia," says TV's Jim Nabors. "It was just one of those things." Nabors, a true football fan, has been attending the Los Angeles Rams games—both home and away—at his own expense. For eight straight games he sang the national anthem and for eight straight games the Rams won—a conjunction of events not lost upon the Philadelphia Eagles. Figuring, logically, that they needed all the help they could get, the Eagles decided they were not about to risk the Nabors jinx, and he was requested not to sing. He may not have been mad, but he was wounded. "First time I ever visited Philadelphia, and imagine—they wouldn't let me sing the national anthem!" Nabors went on to confide, however, that he had sung right along with the Rams on the sideline, which turned out to be good enough. They won, 23-17.
Comedian Bob Newhart reported on The Tonight Show that he had bought a horse in Iowa, where he was making a film. "She's three-fourths of a quarter horse," said Newhart. "I guess that makes her [3/16]ths of a horse. Very difficult to ride." Difficult or not, it would have been cheaper for Newhart to have ridden her from Iowa home to California. "I wanted to send the horse by train, but the railroad will not take just one horse," he said. "You must have 30, and I wasn't about to buy 29 others just to get my one to California. Then my wife and I were going to get a trailer and drive the horse out...but you don't pull into a Howard Johnson's with a horse. I finally found a boy to drive her out, and we now have her in a stable in Woodland Hills. So, after spending about $1,300, I went to see my horse and she stepped on my foot."
On opening day of the duck-hunting season in California, Edwin W. Pauley, Robert E. Petersen, W. Barron Hilton and Dante J. Nomellini were surprised by game wardens in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta with 49 birds in their possession, more than twice the legal limit of 24. The case recently came to trial and all four declined to fight it, each paying a fine of $250. Pauley is a Southern California oilman, a multimillionaire and a friend of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson. Petersen owns a dozen magazines, including Hot Rod, Skin Diver and Guns & Ammo. Hilton is the former owner of the San Diego Chargers and is the present head of the hotel chain. Nomellini is a former member of the California Fish and Game Commission and is currently on the commission's advisory board.
London's Sunday Times Magazine has now completed "its most ambitious venture: a 15-part biographical survey of the men and women who have made the Twentieth Century what it is." Among the 1,000 persons listed are politicians and soldiers, painters, athletes, musicians, writers and many others—"those who would one day be seen to have genuinely affected the life of ordinary people [including] the inventors of Xerox and Tampax...." Some of the athletes noted are Muhammad Ali, Jacques Anquetil, Roger Bannister, Jean-Claude Killy, Manolete, Pelé, Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Shoemaker and Babe Zaharias. It's nice to see them there, though a listing as one who has "made the Twentieth Century what it is" might on occasion seem a dubious compliment.