Pauley: "It's the first time in more than 100 years that Canada has had an entry. Where have you been for 100 years?"
McLaughlin: "Out playing hockey, I guess."
FRETTING THE POUNDS AWAY
You've heard of the Scarsdale Diet, the Beverly Hills Diet and the Cambridge Diet? Well, now we want to tell you about the Austin Diet. But be forewarned that the way John Gamble lost 19 pounds in 34 hours in an Austin, Texas hotel room isn't for everyone. In fact, Gamble allows it really isn't for anyone. Gamble, a world-class powerlifter and assistant strength coach at the University of Virginia, was in Austin to defend his title in the 275-pound division at the national powerlifting championships but ran into some trouble apparently attributable to a faulty scale in the Virginia gym on which he weighed himself before departing for Texas.
The Virginia scale indicated that Gamble weighed 283 pounds, eight too many, but that appeared to be no problem because, he says, "I lose that much overnight in nervous energy." Alas, when Gamble arrived in Austin and stepped on an accurate scale at 10 p.m. Friday, he found he weighed 293. Gamble went to his hotel room and, with an 8 a.m. weigh-in Sunday bearing down on him, didn't eat and rarely slept. He turned the hot water in his shower to full blast to create a steam-room effect and sat there, sweating profusely, for 45 minutes at a time. He ruled out exercise. "I didn't want to weaken my legs any more than they already would be," he says. Another source of weight loss: "I was worrying so much, it was causing me to go to the bathroom a lot." By 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Gamble had slimmed to 275¾ pounds, still a smidgen too much. "I worried like hell," he says. "What was I supposed to do?" Worrying apparently was enough. By 7:30 he had lost the smidgen and at the weigh-in was a svelte 274.
Gamble had four hours to recover from his ordeal before the competition, and on the advice of a physiologist, he ate some fruit—it was all he could get down—and took some extra vitamins. He was so dehydrated that he drank four gallons of water and didn't need the rest room once. The happy ending to the story: 1) Amazingly enough, Gamble successfully defended his title with a world-record cumulative total of 2,270.7 pounds; 2) the scale in Charlottesville has been fixed, and 3) Gamble has no plans to write a book called The Austin Diet. Of his crash regimen for shedding pounds, he says gently, "I don't suggest that anyone else try it."
REFLECTIONS ON AN ACCIDENT
The details in the case of Mike Reilly, the Los Angeles Rams linebacker who has been suspended for the 1983 season by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, are tersely tragic. On Aug. 7, 1982, a car Reilly was driving hit the rear of another car in La Palma, Calif., killing Zachary Thomas, a 17-year-old passenger in the other car, and injuring two of Thomas' companions. Reilly was found to have .23% alcohol in his system, the equivalent of 10 beers, and he pleaded no contest to charges of drunken driving with injury and vehicular manslaughter. Because he is currently serving a year in jail under a work-furlough program, Reilly conceivably could have played in Rams home games this season, a prospect that Rozelle's suspension dashed.
So much for the bare-bones facts of the case. More illuminating is the written statement that Reilly's father, a Federal Aviation Administration official in Miami, submitted before his son was sentenced in Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif. Groping to explain how his son had come to such grief, James Reilly told of having been deeply involved in the boy's earliest athletic efforts. He said that for a while he "did what most fathers do when coaching their own—I was less tolerant and more demanding of Mike than the other boys." The younger Reilly, the father said, "was more concerned with winning than he should have been. Also, he was never totally satisfied with his own performance." In high school, partly because he was so advanced in sports, he befriended older boys and soon began to balk at parental curfews and "seemed to respect or measure people by their athletic ability rather than just as people." He was heavily wooed by college coaches, including Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Joe Paterno and Barry Switzer, all of whom visited him at home within a one-week period, a recruiting blitz that helped throw his values "off course." Reilly eventually cast his lot with Switzer at Oklahoma, where he displayed an "inability to handle alcohol." On one occasion he was found guilty of public drunkenness and assaulting a police officer. The father said the Norman, Okla. cops had baited his son, reflecting a "love-hate" attitude toward athletes that results in "half the people putting the players up on a pedestal and the other half hoping they are knocked off."
The elder Reilly also said, "Most athletes set goals for themselves that are often unattainable.... I believe they have a real fear of not performing up to their ability at all times and [of] the disappointment to their fans, coaches and family. They are normally very physical and think that should equip them to handle all these pressures, but obviously many resort to the use of drugs and/ or alcohol, many ending in disaster for themselves and their careers."