After closed-door meetings in 1980 and '83, the Raiders regrouped and went on to win the Super Bowl each time. They circled the wagons again last week. "A lot of people are jumping ship," said center Dave Dalby, the offensive co-captain.
When the Raiders were getting mugged by Chicago Nov. 4, marketing director Mike Ornstein was doing a slow burn. He felt that Southern California sportswriters weren't suffering with the Raiders. "Negative press! I hope you all the on the way home," Ornstein said.
When Dallas staged its Silver Anniversary extravaganza Nov. 2-4, ex-Cowboys Blaine Nye, Larry Cole and Pat Toomay were absent, although no great fuss was made about it. After all, in 1971 the three linemen had formed The Zero Club to underscore their lack of recognition. Frank Luksa, a Dallas Times Herald columnist and the self-appointed Zero Club historian, says, "Each was unknown, unsung and unappreciated, and they joined in a series of common causes, the foremost [being] lethargy and sloth."
Toomay, who's a writer and whose second novel, On Any Given Sunday, was recently published, said, "Our not being invited is a reaffirmation of our motto: None for One, All for Naught. What this shows is that the fans haven't forgotten to forget us."
Nye, who's now a business consultant in Palo Alto, Calif., was perhaps the best guard the Cowboys ever had, even if a poll of Dallas fans left him off an All-Time Cowboy team. He waxed semi-nostalgic: "Ah, we had some great non-times. That's the beauty of it. You can't remember anything."
Cole, a real-estate developer in Colleyville, Texas, was in London. He's a guy who never had much to say, except in 1978, after he returned an interception for a touchdown in a game against the Redskins. The last time he had scored was 10 years before, on a similar play. Said Cole, "Anybody can have an off decade."
Pete Johnson has a new body. "I haven't bought any new clothes yet," says the Dolphin running back, who's a streamlined 251 pounds, down from the 280-or-so he weighed as a Charger in September. "I'm waiting to get down to 240 until I buy new clothes. But I'm sure I've lost several inches in several areas." Johnson, who's playing only in short yardage situations, realizes that only the fittest survive in Miami. "The pass is so important here," he says, "I can't walk around all bloated up. I'm trying to become as quick as I can."
The Pete Johnson Workout consists of three miles of running every morning, weightlifting three times a week and cardiovascular exercises. And Pete has but one meal a day.
"I eat about eight o'clock at night and take a long walk afterward," he says. "In Cincinnati, I used to eat a lot of sandwiches and greasy stuff during lunch, but not anymore. The big thing is that I'm not going out drinking with the fellows anymore. Except for a beer now and then, I've given up drinking."
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