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