FOOTBALL; Namath on stage

Ever wonder what Joe Namath does when not splashing on Brut? Well, would you believe summer stock? This season he's had the title role in "Li'l Abner" as it makes its way through stops in Atlanta; St. Louis; Tulsa, Okla.; and Kansas City , Mo.

It's Joe first musical, and quite frankly he hasn't earned rave reviews. His singing, dancing, and acting may be subpar, but as one critic so aptly put it, ". . . he's Joe Namath and that's what you go to see anyway."

In a revealing quote snared by Furman bisher in the Sporting News, Namath confesses to his musical shortcomings: "I've always liked music, but I couldn't play a note on a harmonica. I never even knew the words of the national anthem until they flashed them on the score board before games."

Namath figures "Li'l Abner" is within his capabilities, a good steppingstone to something more challenging. Where he goes from here is anybody's guess, yet the name "Broadway Joe" may someday be more apv propriate than it ever was during his quarterbacking days.

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