President Reagan recently filled all but one of the 15 posts on his Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, naming former NFL Coach George Allen as the chairman and erstwhile Quarterback Roger Staubach and figure skater Dorothy Hamill, among others, as members. Also appointed to the council was entertainer Wayne Newton, a longtime Reagan booster who staged concerts to raise money for Reagan during the 1980 presidential campaign and who has allowed that he might be interested some day in running for governor of Nevada or the U.S. Senate.
Although his selection raised a few eyebrows, it turns out that Newton isn't totally unqualified for the council, which meets four times a year to mull over ways to promote physical fitness—and which, incidentally, is one of the few government agencies this side of the Pentagon whose budget has been increased (from $814,000 last year to $1.1 million). A spokesman for Newton says that the 39-year-old singer has a black belt in karate, rides and trains Arabian horses and swims regularly. The spokesman neglected to mention that during his rise to stardom the 6'4" Newton pared his weight from 275 to 175 pounds. To our mind, that's the most salient biographical fact. Somebody capable of shedding 100 pounds may well be worth heeding on the subject of fitness.
BLESSED BE THE RECOVERY
Following a 10-mile race Saturday morning in Central Park, the sponsoring New York Road Runners Club held an awards presentation in the basement of what exhausted participants agreed was an aptly named locale: the Church of the Heavenly Rest.
HOLD THAT LINE, HOLD THAT FINE
In its game against Wisconsin at Madison last month, Rose Bowl-bound Iowa made only seven first downs, none in the second half, but won 17-7 thanks to a stalwart defense that forced the Badgers to commit five turnovers and held them to 43 yards rushing. The Hawkeyes' post-game bus trip to Iowa City proved to be a case of life imitating football. The driver of the bus carrying the team's offensive unit was ticketed near Dubuque for going 70 mph in a 55-mph zone, prompting Coach Hayden Fry to note sadly that the bus's occupants had been stopped all day, anyway. The defensive unit, meanwhile, came through again. Although nobody has figured out how it could have happened, the bus carrying the defensive players wasn't stopped even though it was traveling on the same road, just ahead of the bus that was flagged down.