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Thread: From The Sports Desk

  1. #31
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    I just finished the natural. what a bizarre book that I probably would not recommend to anyone. (don't read it tailor!)

    it might be the only book ive read that's been made into a movie that I don't feel like watching. I think I said this earlier, I wonder how the book got made into a movie.

    back to boxing and my skepticism of jimmy carter's recollection of the louis-schmeling rematch. ive only peeked a little in my margolick, I can do a more exhaustive look later, but in the meantime, here's a relevant retort:

    "that schmeling was fighting a black man, and on behalf of a regime for which race was paramount, upped the symbolic ante. all whites, the Nazis asserted were in schmeling's corner--not just in germany but in the American south, Australia, south America, and south Africa. german communicators had repeatedly charged that the united states was more concerned about retaining the heavyweight crown than about upholding the honor of the white race, so the task had fallen to germany. that anyone could accuse a segregated and bigoted America of giving people of color a break was almost comic. but louis, only the second black man ever to win the heavyweight title, and the first in twenty-two years, had made himself indispensable--and, just as remarkably, largely acceptable--to white America." p9-10.

  2. #32
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    dag nab double posting again!

    I plan to still do some looking in margolick but, in keeping with the intent of the thread, ive got a ton of sport history and some sport fiction I still haven't read.

    I could go with football, baseball, tennis, figure skating, maybe horses, golf, cycling, drugs, boxing, swimming, tv (like roone Arledge, and jim McKay) and maybe a few other odds and ends.

    Sancho, tailor, if you wanna weigh in on a particular area, youre invited. if im going to be reading something, I might as well read something that prompts some conversation.

    danik---if you see this, ive also got my life and the beautiful game by pele. if you would peek in here lots to see the updates on it, id be happy to read that one.
    Last edited by bounty; 01-17-2023 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #33
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Shocking epiphany, bounty, the bevy of books in boxes in my basement don’t need to be organized and categorized like the stacks at the library, I’ll just go with boxes of fiction or nonfiction and tape a list on the front. A tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Thanks.

    Anyway, I can’t speak to the accuracy of Jimmy’s memory, but the comment rang true to me. I’ve got nothing to base it on except that I grew up one state over from his (to the north and east) and in the South for an event like that you had to pick a team and the team generally ran along the same lines as the community’s segregation lines. I wasn’t around for the Louis/Schmeling fight, but I was for The Fight of the Century - Frazier/Ali. Seems like all the white folks in my town were pulling for Frazier and all the black folks were solidly behind Ali, and that’s despite the fact that Smoking Joe Frazier is from South Carolina. Donno. The South is weird that way. It’s getting better. But still. Back in school when a white kid referred to his mother’s sister, he called her “my ant”. A black kid would say “my ahhnt”. Black kids called the goo you squirt on ice cream “care-a-mel”. White kids called it “car-mul”. Black kids wore Pro Keds and White kids wore Converse (then an exchange student showed up wearing Adidas and all hell broke loose).

    I was in school for busing. We got bused to their school for a couple of years. And then they got bused to our school for the next couple of years. Initially there were a lot of fights. But then we started becoming integrated. And Ya know what integrated us better than anything else? SPORTS! Yep, ya get a bunch of black kids and white kids playing on the same sports team and amazing things happen. The coaches were awesome. They were the unsung heroes of desegregation.
    Uhhhh...

  4. #34
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Ok, no read The Natural... still love the movie though 'some' might find it tedious.

    I was an Ali fan way back in time... let's face it, he was a poet in the ring as well as out.

    Got bussed circa '67-'70 in Stockton, California - Webster JHS (8th & 9th grade)... never saw the point then, nor now. I got more out of one class in sociology at Hay U in my brief stint at higher education reading Soul on Ice. The only thing that kept my sanity living in Stockton was the three bowling alleys in town I could go to on occasion. I took a bus to one downtown, walked to another, and had to get a ride to another where I bowled in a league (no wheels yet... too young)

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
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    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
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    7-8-2015

  5. #35
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    given ali and frazier ware both black, then the differing camps are attributable to personality, character traits and life choices. I remember my father not liking ali because he was a "loud mouth." I suspect a lot of conservative and/or Christians took offense with him because of his becoming muslim and his early ties with the controversial nation of islam. i remember similar criticisms concerning lew Alcindor. lastly, considering how many people were still alive who had served in the military in WWII and korea, ali's stance on the draft made him hugely unpopular. jack Dempsey lost a lot of popularity and garnered a lot of haters by his not being in the military during WWI. by contrast joe frazier came across as a blue collar working class fellow who loved America.

    one of the other big things going on at the time was the rise of the black panther party, the 1968 mexico city Olympic black power salute controversy, and all the race riots. rightly or wrongly, I think ali was identified with that.

    your post reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies remember the titans.

    tailor, your word "tedious" is probably something id use to describe the book. ironically, it became all the more so at the end, during the last game of the season. I just started skimming paragraphs looking for bits that advanced the story.
    Last edited by bounty; 01-18-2023 at 09:47 AM.

  6. #36
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    here's another margolick blurb:

    "Louis's appeal was no accident. by temperament and design, he tried to be everything the much-vilified, still-controversial previous black titleholder, jack Johnson, was not...while whites still patronized him, bill corum of the new York evening journal had written of him the previous year--they generally liked him, even below the Mason-Dixon line. once, southern exhibitors put louis footage at the end of newsreels, the easier to crop it out; now it was played and applauded. one black columnist estimated as the louis-schmeling fight approached that two of three white southerners were pulling for louis...for louis then, much of the bigotry that afflicted America was briefly and selectively suspended." p12.
    Last edited by bounty; 01-18-2023 at 09:48 AM.

  7. #37
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    The elephant in the room for the Frazier/Ali fight was whether you were for or against the Vietnam war. Ali famously said - “no Vietnamese ever called me n____.”

    I think The Natural is more of a Greek tragedy with a backdrop of baseball than a “sports” book. Roy certainly had a tragic flaw - vanity, or maybe arrogance. I remember Roy clipping foul balls into the stands trying to hit the loud-mouth dwarf. That scene ended tragically.

    I’m sure there’s been studies on the ups, the downs, and the break evens of the busing program. In the south, it seems to me, the major up was that prior to busing the black schools were chronically underfunded. Those schools went through a major renovation the summer before the white kids showed up that fall. The major down was white flight. Rich white kids went to private school and a lot of others fled to school districts that didn’t bus to the city. So in Columbia, S.C. Lexington county boomed and Richland county suffered. It seemed like everybody was trying to move into the Irmo School District. Irmo, South Carolina is the town that white flight built. The break even was that I never really got any better at algebra.

    Right off the bat the sports teams were mixed, tables in the lunch room, not so much. Then an amazing thing started to happen. Black and white kids on the baseball team started eating together. I remember distinctly eating at a table with a kid from the city, Hodges, he was loud and boisterous and funny and man could he hit, probably somewhere north of 500. He wound up enlisting in the army…and then working his way all the way to bird colonel before he retired.

    The band got a lot better too.
    Uhhhh...

  8. #38
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    my hometown only had one public high school, so such things weren't even on our radar screen. I don't know if "busing" ever occurred up in buffalo or rochester where there are a ton of high schools.

    that's another "masters thesis" worthy thought Sancho, about the book being like a greek tragedy. "literary themes in euripedes and Malamud" by student X.

    oh, a nice segue into your algebra woes. I have this somewhere, did a quick look but couldn't find it, a math meme that goes something like "dude, stop looking for your x, she's gone, get over it."

    I think I maybe made a good choice for my next non-fiction reading with the intent of keeping this thread going. I have two books, the greatest sports arguments of all time and andy Roddick beat me with a frying pan. both pose questions that might be fun wrangling about as I go through them.

    here are the first two chapters in each:

    "the slammer of 41: which feat was more formidable, DiMaggio's 56 game streak or Williams' .406 season?"

    "could a morbidly obese goalie shut out an nhl team?"

    I hope I can lure you all in with the questions, and then respond with what the texts say.

  9. #39
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    dag nab double posting!

    but I can take the opportunity to add this.

    if you guys aren't star trek fans, you might enjoy hearing that in deep space nine, Benjamin sisco, who is the station's Starfleet commander, is a huge baseball fan and actually keeps a baseball on his desk as a memento of his love for the game.
    Last edited by bounty; 01-18-2023 at 12:17 PM.

  10. #40
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    re: "whether you were for or against the Vietnam war." - By 1971, when I signed up for the draft, the liberal society in the SF Bay Area had pretty much brainwashed its youth through music and education, etc. It never occurred to me that Ali/Frasier was anything but boxing however... I never went down that rabbit hole. By mid-1972 it was all I could do to save my sanity while trying to go to college, working, living on my own (at first), paying bills, and watching my family disintegrate from within and without to worry about the draft... I would have gladly served had my number come up, it never did.

    re: Deep Space Nine - yup, big fan. Binge watch the series prolly every other year.

    re: "which feat was more formidable, DiMaggio's 56 game streak or Williams' .406 season?"... DiMaggio's streak IMHO... .406 isn't untouchable.

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  11. #41
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Hey, that gives me an idea for new thread: The Literature Of The Counterculture. I can feel myself slouching towards Bethlehem already. Nah. I’ve barely got time to keep up with sports writing.

    The other thread I was thinking of is sexual innuendo in verse and poetry, which dovetails nicely with the music of the 60s and 70s that Tailor mentioned. I was listening to Little Feat the other day when I had this idea. Specifically I was listening to Fat Man in the Bathtub.
    Spotcheck Billy got down on his hands and knees and said, hey momma…
    He really wants to hook up with Jaunita, you see, but she says:
    No, no honey, not tonight. You come back Monday, you come back Tuesday, and then I might.
    So Billy goes away sad and dejected. I’ve always liked this tune. It’s a real toe-tapper. I like its structure and it’s complex rhythm, but I never really listened to the words all that closely. I thought it was simply a song about sexual frustration and I assumed Billy was the “Fat Man in the Bathtub with the blues.” Well I got to surfing around the web the other day to see how other people interpreted the song and a fair number of people thought that the “Fat Man in the Bathtub” was a whole other thing. Old hippies, man, they know stuff. It’s one of the things I love about art - it can mean different things to different people.

    So I’ve strayed slightly from sports writing.
    Uhhhh...

  12. #42
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    heck Sancho, there could be all sorts of interesting threads here if there were more than 5-6 people to inhabit them!

    tailor, im halfway through season 5 and really enjoying it. the most recent episode was the crew's capture of eddington, the former star fleet security officer who in fact was working for the maquis. other recent notables---kira had the O'Brien's baby, odo got his shape-shifting abilities back, and nog is back on the station after his first year at the academy.

    while im here, if you are a star trek fan, let me highly recommend star trek: picard and star trek: lower decks. the latter is an animated series and sometimes its laugh out loud funny.

    seems like I might have peeked before at the authors answer to that question and tailor you are on their side. i'll read it tonight and tell you all tomorrow what they say.

    I don't pay much attention to baseball anymore but last I knew (and this was a long time ago) George brett had batted .388 and pete rose had hit in 44 (I think) straight games? those kinda seem equivalent in terms of how close they came to the marks in question.

  13. #43
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    re: star trek: picard and star trek: lower decks - I don't have a Paramount account at this time, but may re-evaluate my choices as their library grows. Also rural internet choices really makes premium streaming difficult for viewing.

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  14. #44
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    True dat. I paid extra for the cable company to run a line to my house. Just streamed Facing Nolan on Netflix, good documentary.
    7 no-hitters seems like unbreakable record.

    This is from John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name. He’s talking about all the fun stuff they have for the fans at a minor league ballpark, in this case for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs:

    In Allentown, one of the more popular fan-participation contests is called Whack an. And yes, it is family entertainment... not what you might otherwise think. A large box with four holes cut in the top is brought out to the third-base line. Four of the Pigs' summer interns crawl beneath the box. Two fans are selected and handed plastic bats. Each time an intern pops his head out of one of the four holes, the fans attempt to whack him. The fan who connects most is the winner.

    While almost everyone in the ballpark was paying rapt attention to Whack an Intern, the reliever called into the game by manager Beyeler jogged in from the left-field bullpen. When the public address announcer introduced him, there wasn't a hint of a reaction from the crowd. The plastic bats ruled at that moment.
    That reliever was Mark Prior.

    He also mentions, “one of the biggest disappointments of the 2012 season in Durham was when George Jetson Night was rained out.”

    So here’s a random personal experience from your region, bounty. Have you ever met your doppelgänger? Or have you ever had someone tell you that you look just like somebody else they know? And then you meet that person and you think, nah, not even close. So 8 or 10 years ago a couple of coworkers and I went to Dinosaur Barbecue in Rochester. I seem to remember we entered the restaurant at the bar. Behind the bar was a really good-looking, sort of Milfy, bartender and when she laid eyes on me she just lit up with a great big smile and motioned us over to the bar. I was thinking - this has never happened to me in my entire life. Pretty soon she realizes that I’m not the person she thought I was. It may have been coincident with me opening my mouth and my South Carolina drawl spilling out all over the place. But nonetheless she was quite friendly and told me how much I looked like a friend of hers. Well sure enough half an hour later or so her friend shows up. She introduces us and I gotta say, it was like looking in a mirror. We all had a pretty good laugh about it. She just kept shaking her head whenever I talked because southern vowels coming out of her friend’s mouth didn’t compute. And my people kept cracking up whenever her friend spoke his upstate NY accent.

    So what does that have to do with sports writing? Well, it was sort of a Sports Bar.
    Uhhhh...

  15. #45
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Screwed up the quote. The contest was called - whack an intern.
    Uhhhh...

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