Although the Los Angeles Raiders never like to lose on the football field, they don't mind doing it elsewhere for a good cause--in this case, 15,000 Los Angeles city schoolchildren.
In a special one-month promotion with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles, the Raiders are "playing" against fourth, fifth and sixth graders from 30 of the city's elementary schools in a "Perfect Attendance Super Bowl." The object, Raider coach Tom Flores said, is to join "in the fight for greater school attendance and ultimately school completion."
At a Wednesday news conference at the Coliseum, the Raiders home stadium, Flores, Tackle Bruce Davis and tight end-running back Derrick Jensen teamed up with children from Trinity Elementary in South-Central Los Angeles, officials of the school district and the soft drink company to announce the upcoming contest, which will begin April 14.
The Trinity schoolchildren all sported badges especially made for the contest that read: BEAT THE RAIDERS.
For one month, students from the selected grammar schools--those with relatively high absentee rates--will chart their attendance on a scoreboard at the school. Every time a student attends school, he scores one point. If he/she is there for a whole week, he/she gets an extra seven points, so the total amount each student can score in one week is 12 points. Each time a student is absent, the Raiders score seven points; three points for every time a student is tardy.
At the end of the game, prizes will be awarded at assemblies at the participating schools, and the class at each school with the most students having perfect attendance will have a pizza party with a Raider player.
"It is a challenge. We challenge the young people," Flores told the Trinity children. "They, in return are going to work hard. . . . In that respect, we hope we will lose to you kids. Just don't wear those badges to any of our games this year."
Skirting the Slap
Sondra Gotlieb, the wife of Canadian ambassador Allan Gotlieb, writes a humorous column for the Washington Post on the travails of Washington life. But lately her travails have been in the news in another form: headlines. At a party the embassy was hosting for visiting Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney March 19, Sondra Gotlieb became frustrated when she was told by her social secretary, Connie Connor, that a prize guest was not coming, and she slapped Connor across the face, sending her earring flying.
Only a handful of Canadian press saw the incident and Gotlieb immediately apologized to Connor. The incident was much publicized by Canadian and Washington newspapers.
Gotlieb, who has a book of her columns out called "Wife Of," canceled an engagement she had to talk to the National Press Club Wednesday, saying she didn't want to use the slapping incident to promote her book.
But she did keep a date Thursday to address a packed luncheon at the Women's National Democratic Club. She gave humorous accounts of being an 18-year-old college dropout who, through a series of communication bungles, became engaged to and eventually married Allan Gotlieb, a Rhodes Scholar. She talked about some of her other experiences as a diplomatic wife and her career as a writer, which started with cookbooks.
Luncheon guests were allowed to send questions up to her in written form, and the club screened out those relating to the slap. But after answering questions, Sondra Gotlieb said, "I feel devastated, ladies and gentlemen. And you know what I'm talking about.
"You were kind not to ask that question. I feel just devastated."
The group gave her a big applause and several bought books for her autograph.
Boys' Life at 75
Speaking of youngsters, it is hard to believe that Boys' Life magazine is 75 years old this year.
To mark the occasion, the magazine, a bimonthly for boys and Boy Scouts that has been published continuously by the Boy Scouts of America since March 1, 1911, will reprint articles and artwork from its early contributors, among them Jack London and Boys' Life's first art director, Norman Rockwell.
An exhibit of some of Rockwell's Boys' Life covers is planned at the Lawrence Ross Galleries, 314 N. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, from April 9 through May 9.