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Original Issue


That Joe Namath is about to make the scene with a bunch of dolls may not sound like news, but it is, for the reason that the dolls are literally dolls. Word is out that a 12-inch "action figure" of Broadway Joe is due to hit the toy market shortly. Created by the Mego Corporation, Joe will come equipped with a Jet uniform and a tiny football which he can actually pass. Available separately will be a dozen zippy outfits appropriate to the throwing of other sorts of passes—for instance the fur coat and the mod jacket with velvet pants and ruffled shirt shown below. Ken had better look to his Barbie doll, because the fact is that such innocents as Baby Dollikins and Cuddly Miss Peep are simply going to be too young for a Joe Namath Action Figure. The toy industry might be wise to start work on a Dear Abby doll.

Admirers of the austere Samuel Beckett may be stunned to learn that he has a keen interest in sports—in cricket especially—but a London paper assures its readers that it is so and reports that as a young man he played on the first 11 for Trinity College, Dublin. Some years ago Beckett was put up for membership in the famed Marylebone Cricket Club. He declined, owing to ill health, but according to a club spokesman he remains "quite enthusiastic."

Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio, who, at 80, still plays tennis, has discovered the perfect diet drink. No cyclamates, no saccharin—no nothing, in fact, over ice. With a plain glass of ice cubes, Young points out, imbibers not only avoid the calories in booze, they can actually lose weight as they burn up calories—perhaps as many as 10 calories a glass—crunching all that ice with their teeth. O.K., as long as they don't crunch all those teeth with that ice.

Lester Pearson is a former prime minister of Canada, a former president of the U.N. General Assembly, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner—and a former semipro ballplayer who, in 1919, pulled down 50 bucks a week playing third base. Now the honorary president of the Montreal Expos, Pearson went to West Palm Beach, Fla. recently to check out his team in spring training and was introduced by the Expos' other president, John McHale, as "a rookie who's reporting a little late." Pearson agreed. "I would have preferred to get here about 50 years ago," he said. "I was in better shape then."

Muhammad Ali, sporting a Tone-O-Matic weighted belt for a forthcoming TV commercial, looked a bit paunchier but still drew crowds on the Manhattan street corner where the commercial was being taped. "Hey, Cassius baby, what you doing?" yelled a passing truck driver. "Trying to find Joe Frazier; I got something for Frazier," Ali replied. But, in the meantime, he was throwing his weight behind Tone-O-Matic and Brut men's cologne. An ode to Brut—"If you want something that's the very latest/Then you've got to try Brut, 'cause it's the greatest"—was a cinch for Ali. After the first take he boasted, "I write as good as these fellas and they're making the money." After the 23rd take he hedged a bit: "I'll stick to boxing. The fight would be over by now and I'd be home watching the reruns."

It is reported that Jackie Gleason wandered into the weekly meeting of the Norfolk, Va. Sports Club at the Monticello Hotel recently and, baffled, asked, "Where the hell am I?" When informed, he revealed, "I used to be an athlete myself. A shotputter. I could put away more shots than anybody."

Adolph Rupp, whose tobacco holding in Kentucky are considerable, has just been named state chairman of the American Cancer Society's fund-raising drive.

The Chiefs' Buck Buchanan did a 10-second bit in the film M*A*S*H, but not only were his lines cut ("They were kind of dirty"), he missed the Kansas City press screening of the picture because his wife was going out and he had to baby-sit. He got a second chance to make it big in show biz, though—he was asked to stand in for a star at the annual convention of the United Motion Picture Association. Buchanan, 6'7", 287 pounds, attended the luncheon and graciously accepted Candice Bergen's award as Best New Female Star.

Monty Milhous, 19-year-old second cousin of President Nixon, has made his rodeo debut in Fresno, Calif. "It's going to be my life," he says. "I'll probably be rodeoing until I can't walk any longer—I just like the excitement of riding a bull."

As a young man Erskine Caldwell, author of Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre, was a stringer for the Macon, Ga. Telegraph, which paid him $2 a column to cover the town of Wrens. Wrens had at that time a population of about 1,000, and "nothing ever happened," Caldwell says, "except they had baseball games which frequently ended up in a fight. So to have something to send in I went to all the games, and if a fight didn't materialize I wasn't reluctant about getting one started."