MAKING SENSE OF THE MANDATE
It would be a mistake to interpret Ronald Reagan's formidable election victory as a mandate to emasculate the nation's hard-earned environmental laws. Granted, Reagan referred witheringly during his campaign to "environmental extremists" and he repeatedly promised to increase productivity by relaxing environmental restraints. Granted, too, most leading environmentalists endorsed President Carter for reelection, plainly finding the prospect of a Reagan victory difficult to swallow.
But exactly what does that victory, now that it's been achieved, bode for the environment? If you believe the President-elect's rhetoric, nothing but trouble. During his campaign Reagan was quick to reckon the admittedly considerable costs of protecting the environment but was lamentably slow to calculate the potentially greater costs of unrestrained production. And he revealed himself to be abysmally ignorant in trying to defend an earlier assertion that trees cause more pollution than do cars and factories and in declaring that air pollution, in any event, was "substantially controlled," a statement he had the ill grace to make during a smog alert in his home city of Los Angeles.
Behind the rhetoric, however, lies a somewhat different reality. No doubt most Americans would welcome anything Reagan might do to make environmental regulations more flexible where appropriate and to eliminate those that may, indeed, be unnecessary. But it should be noted that Reagan was elected partly because of his success in evoking the vision of a simpler, more pristine America, a vision that to many people means an America of cleaner air and cleaner water. And Reagan apparently also succeeded in persuading the electorate that his bark on the environment, as on other issues, is worse than his bite. Thus, when he wasn't blaming trees for pollution—apparently confusing nitrous oxide, which is indeed produced by trees and is harmless to humans, with nitrogen dioxide, a toxic substance that comes from man-made sources—he was calling himself an environmentalist and taking pains to point out that, during his eight years as governor of California, the state adopted the nation's strictest pollution controls. In fact, while a Democratic-controlled state legislature took the initiative in passing most of those measures, Reagan seldom raised objections.
Significantly, sweeping Reagan into the White House wasn't the only thing the voters did on Election Day. They also approved some 80% of all bond issues on ballots across the country, most of which were to pay for new water-pollution control systems, waste-disposal plants and other environmental projects. This continued willingness to spend for environmental purposes suggests that Reagan's mandate doesn't include riding roughshod on the environment at all. Accordingly, Russell Peterson, a former Republican governor of Delaware and now president of the National Audubon Society, says, "The people won't tolerate turning the clock back on things so essential to the quality of their health as environmental issues. If it tries to turn the clock back on the environment, the new Administration will be in deep trouble with the people."
THE PHILADELPHIA FOUR
As of Sunday night, Philadelphia's four major league teams had gone unbeaten, collectively, in 26 straight games. The last Philadelphia defeats were the Phillies' 5-3 loss to the Royals in the fourth game of the World Series on Oct. 18 and a 6-2 Flyer loss to Toronto that night. The Phillies then won Games 5 and 6—and the World Series. The brawling Flyers (page 34) proceeded to go unbeaten through 11 games (9-0-2) to give them the best record in the NHL. The Eagles meanwhile won their next four games, giving them the best record in the NFL. The 76ers won their next nine games, leaving them atop the NBA's Atlantic Division. Although Philadelphia fans figure to taste defeat sooner or later, it may be a while before any of the other cities with teams in every major sport—New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles—produces a streak that can match the remarkable one achieved by the Philadelphia Four.
GREAT CHEFS OF THE NFL
So you're having the neighborhood offensive line over and don't know what to serve? Don't panic, just reach for Souper Bowl of Recipes (Northwoods Press, Stafford, Va.), a compendium of the culinary favorites of 406 present and former NFLers compiled by two coaches' wives, Betty Arnsparger and Dorothy Shula, and two of their friends, Nan Perry and Nancy Siebert. Follow the directions and you can blitz your guests with Steve Grogan's very own recipe for frozen fruit slush, Fred Biletnikoff's version of bouillabaisse or Mike McCormack's "family fondue," which the Colts' coach says is "great after the game."
The cookbook reveals the NFL's closet gourmets to be a diverse bunch. Included are such ethnic delights as golumki, a Polish stuffed cabbage dish from the kitchen of Dallas Assistant Coach Mike Ditka, and kibbi nayya, a Middle Eastern lamb concoction served up by Tampa Bay Defensive Coach Abe Gibron, not to mention "my mother's Croatian apple strudel" courtesy of San Diego Linebacker Jim Laslavic. Though some of the offerings are fairly sophisticated—for example, Jim Kiick's chicken cordon bleu—others are more along the lines of Matt Robinson's strawberry sauce for pancakes, which consists of mixing a package of frozen strawberries with one-half cup of currant jelly over low heat for 10 minutes. As one might expect, much of the fare favored by the football folk is hearty. Thus, the book includes nine recipes for stew, seven for chili and five for lasagna. And that's not counting Miami Assistant Coach Tom Keane's recipe for elephant stew, which the authors couldn't resist including:
1 medium-size elephant
2 rabbits (optional)
salt and pepper
Cut elephant in bite-size pieces. Add enough brown gravy to cover. Cook over kerosene fire about four weeks at 450°. Serves 3,800 people. If more people are expected, add two rabbits. Do this only in emergency as most people don't like hare in their stew.
IN THE ROUGH
Something good was bound to come out of the troubled economy if it hung around long enough. And so it has: last week CBS announced that, starting in 1982, it was slashing its golf coverage from 20 tournaments a year to 14. Lopped from the network's lineup were such celebrity-promoted events as the Andy Williams-San Diego Classic, the Jackie Gleason Inverrary and the Sammy Davis-Hartford Open. NBC had already dropped, for 1981, the Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open and the Byron Nelson Classic, and although that network may yet add a couple of tournaments, the net effect will be less golf on the tube.
It was clearly time to do something about the glut of televised golf, which has resulted in a decline in the sport's ratings of almost 30% since 1975. Though its appeal to affluent viewers makes golf what Madison Avenue calls a "prestige buy," prestige is generally one of the first casualties of a lagging economy. As Chip Campbell, the PGA Tour's director of communications, puts it, "Golf has a narrow base. Fifteen million people play it in this country, and that's who watches it. No sport can survive appealing only to participants."
Steps are being taken to broaden this base. Concerned that the sport appeals mostly to an older crowd, the PGA Tour is encouraging sponsors to offer young people low-priced tickets to tournaments, and last month it helped set up a course for kids at Disney World in Florida. This six-hole "Wee Links" course, which features greens made of inexpensive-to-maintain artificial turf, is a prototype for what the PGA Tour hopes will be hundreds of others like it. Another development is the opening of the new Tournament Players Championship course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., which was designed with high vantage points so that lots of spectators—as many as 40,000 on the last hole—can see lots of action. PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman describes the course as the first in a new generation of "golf stadiums" aimed at building a mass audience.
The cutback in TV coverage could, paradoxically, help swell the audience, too. As SI golf writer Dan Jenkins observes, "The fewer tournaments that are televised, the more likely it is a tournament that does get on the air will seem important, dramatic, even entertaining. The trouble until now has been that golf's TV audience increased dramatically only when everyone was snowed in during the winter or when a headline in the sports section of the Sunday newspaper said: WATSON AND NICKLAUS TIED GOING INTO FINAL ROUND TODAY: FISTFIGHT EXPECTED. There will still be plenty of golf on TV, and the tiny white Titleist will still be hard to see in flight, and the networks will still be accused of boring viewers when Watson or Nicklaus or Trevino isn't winning a tournament. But at least this is a beginning."
EXPLANATIONS SIMPLE & COMPLEX
The 1980 Winter Olympics weren't supposed to run a deficit, or so Lake Placid officials solemnly promised. Just how wrong those officials were became known last month with completion of a financial review undertaken in connection with the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee's request to U.S. and state officials for a bailout to save it from possible bankruptcy. Although federal and state governments provided $112 million of the $172 million it cost to stage the Winter Games, the LPOOC wound up losing $4.4 million. LPOOC officials blame the red ink on many factors, including unfavorable publicity caused by the boycott of the Summer Olympics, but somehow we prefer the explanation of the LPOOC's deputy director of marketing, Doug Brown, who ascribes the deficit to "a shortfall in projected revenues and an increase in expenditures." In other words, the LPOOC took in less money and spent more than it expected.
The folks who brought us the 1976 Summer Games, which had a deficit of $1 billion, are also being called upon for explanations. Last June, after a 30-month-long investigation, a three-member commission headed by Quebec Superior Court Justice Albert Malouf, blamed those staggering losses largely on Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who had said, memorably, that the '76 Games "can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby." Drapeau said he would rebut the Malouf report with a detailed written statement, complete with "quotations, illustrations and charts," a statement that has yet to see the light of day. It should be quite a tome when—or if—it finally appears. Last week, in response to the latest of many inquiries by Montreal reporters, an aide said that Drapeau was still working on it.
The following inscription graces the back of a T shirt that's been a hot item in Los Angeles:
[strikethrough] PAC 8
[strikethrough] PAC 10
That, of course, reflects the conference's expansion in 1978 as well as the suspension, for a variety of academic transgressions involving athletes, of five member schools from its 1980 football race. The front of the T shirt bears a reference to the big Nov. 22 showdown between two of the banned teams: 1980 PROBATION BOWL, USC VS. UCLA.
THEY SAID IT
•Gerry Cheevers, goaltender-turned-coach of the Boston Bruins, who are off to a 3-9-1 start: "Hockey was my life. This could be death after life."
•Ron Jaworski, Philadelphia Eagle quarterback: "Some people think I'm cocky. I'm not that at all. I just feel if they ask me to throw 100 passes, I can complete 100."
•Jack Lorri, sports director at radio station WTRC in Elkhart, Ind., on how he knew Notre Dame was having difficulty selecting a new football coach: "When I looked up at the Golden Dome, the two puffs of smoke coming out of the top were black."