A Little Something for Everyone, Even Driver Dan's Crew

News, views and cheap shots:

Ralph Nader should be proud of the USFL. Last week the L.A. Express became the first pro team in history to have its owner recalled.

With Jamaal Wilkes sidelined for the rest of the season, the layup is in danger of becoming extinct. In this, basketball's age of dunk, Silk's sneaky, quiet layups amid the raging traffic under the hoop were a pleasure to watch. Get well soon.

Whatever happened to Dan Pastorini, former quarterback of the Oilers, Rams, Raiders and Eagles?

Last weekend he was in Pomona, picking up the keys to his new, top-fuel dragster and complete support system, including an 18-wheel diesel rig.

Now he's Driver Dan, ready to campaign hard on the National Hot Rod Assn. circuit.

"This is my new livelihood, my new job," Pastorini said. "It's a full-time deal. I wanna do this more than eat."

That's good, because in the cash-draining sport of drag racing, Dan may have to choose.

The constant, prolonged exposure to the bright lights of Hollywood has finally affected Dodger shortstop Bill Russell. He has moved from his ranch in hometown Broken Arrow, Okla., to another suburb of Tulsa. What do we call him now--Broadway Billy?

Edwin Moses has won 109 consecutive 400-meter hurdle races. This is considered the most impressive winning streak in track and field.

But what about Carl Lewis' 39 straight long-jump victories? I don't have any statistics, but I would guess that long-jumpers outnumber intermediate hurdlers by about 20 to 1.

The 400 hurdles is a specialized event, somewhat low on the glamour scale. The long jump is a sprinter's event, and every fast kid in the country takes a shot at it. Yet for nearly half a decade, nobody has come close to Lewis. For all the controversy, he is still the most dominant athlete in sport.

Add Pastorini: What's the first thing Dan did after buying his top-fuel dragster? Buy another one. The first car's cockpit was much too small for the wide-shouldered, 6-2 Pastorini.

Dan's obviously not hip to the fine art of buying a used car. Probably didn't even kick the tires or check out the stereo tape deck.

Attention, steroid poppers: According to Dr. Gideon Ariel, chairman of Computer Sciences-Biomechanics for the U.S. Olympic Committee, steroids won't help you develop what many experts consider the most important single athletic attribute.

"Anabolic steroids cannot contribute to the development of speed," Ariel said in Sports Fitness magazine.

So the Buffalo Bills, and NFL talent evaluators in general, were never real hot on Doug Flutie, eh?

Are these the same, smug player analysts who passed on Dan Marino until the 26th pick, and who passed on Joe Montana until the third round? And aren't the Bills the organization that drafted a kid named O.J. and tried to make him a flanker-wide receiver?

Don't feel bad, Dougie.

Magic Johnson may not be the NBA's biggest crybaby, but he's on the first team. This is a man who truly suffers at the sound of the referee's whistle. In the long run, officials being human, Magic's complaining has to work against him.

"Anytime you touch him, he cries," Indiana guard Bill Garnett said after he and Magic had tangled last Sunday.

The upside is that Magic does tangle. Despite the famous smile, he is the league's best backcourt banger, a blue-collar board man. If he could only learn to be kinder to refs. . . .

Dear NBA office: The gesture on the part of the league's All-Star players, donating money to Ethiopian famine relief, is one of the most heartwarming stories of the year.

You should be proud of your guys, but please don't drown out the beauty of their donation with blaring fanfare. The greatest gifts are given quietly.

U.S. Olympic cycling Coach Eddie Borysewicz says that having a blood transfusion to boost performance is no more dangerous or unethical than taking a vitamin pill.

Shoot, why not have a glass with dinner every night? But I can never remember how it goes--is it red cells with meat and white corpuscles with fish, or vice versa?

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