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Sports

December 18, 2014

"How Muhammad Ali's Rope-A-Dope Myth Suckered America"

News to me, but it sounds right.

The rope-a-dope myth has played an important role in Ali's apotheosis, filling in holes in his resume as a boxer and cultural figure. His career in general is now seen through the prism of his victory over Foreman. Among other things the knockout ratified and deodorized the victories over Liston, though the stink on those fights had always been richly deserved. But the myth itself accomplished the unlikelier feat of reframing Ali's past, which to that point had been unpalatably controversial for many Americans. Skeptics now had to reckon with the saga of a man who'd courageously absorbed the unstinting assault of boxing's most fearsome puncher and come back for a dramatic win. These were the people who'd seen Ali's draft resistance as an act of cowardice instead of a principled stand, who'd looked at Ali—with his hairless body, his self-professed prettiness, his flamboyant personality, his high voice, his lack of interest in anything besides boxing, his less-than-rugged boxing style—and whispered about his sexual orientation, who'd believed that Ali hadn't served his duty to his country or to the ring, having failed to engage in bloody, to-the-death combat on either front. The Foreman fight satisfied those requirements for many, and thus opened the floodgates for the mainstream political acceptance and corporate sponsorship that has for at least 25 years defined Ali's legacy—first President Ford, then the Olympic torch, then the Ali Center, which was made possible by a government land grant. If rope-a-dope was a lie, it at least disabused many Americans of far bigger illusions.

December 12, 2014

"Kelly Slater, Ageless Wonder"

"Watch the 11-time world champion pull off a near-impossible surfing move."

December 06, 2014

If the Cameron Crazies had chanted something like this . . .

. . . it would be a national scandal. But, apparently, an exception is made for the "Midwestern nice"--I believe that niceness is real, but certainly not in this case--students of UW.

(Confirmation of the chant is here. "[P]layed-out"??)

November 23, 2014

"Watch Messi Break The All-Time La Liga Scoring Record"

Beautiful.

See also "This list of broken records shows how insanely good Lionel Messi is".

"The Definitive Celebrity NBA Fan Index"

Los Angeles and New York clearly win.

November 18, 2014

"The 10 Easiest Classes for North Carolina Athletes"

Sample:

History of The Triangle Region 215

Requirements: Students will be required to write a 75-page research term paper on the people, economy and culture of the Triangle Region from the 1600s to modern times. Or, for a C-grade, students may draw a triangle or correctly identify a picture of Phil Jackson.

All are good except for the last one, which is a low blow.

November 16, 2014

"Do You Believe in Miracles?"

Yes! Moments like these are why we watch: "Top 10 Broadcasting Calls".

November 15, 2014

Right on schedule . . .

The complaints against the new, super-duper, much-better-than-before NCAA football championship system are ramping up: "CFP Reaction: This Nonsense Replaced the BCS?" and, of course, "At this rate, we should bring back the BCS".

November 13, 2014

"Could Roy Williams, Tar Heels be stripped of title?"

We'll see.

November 11, 2014

"Ex-Tar Heels DL sounds off on UNC academic scandal"

From CBS Sports:

"If you ain't inside of there, you don't know what's going on. But Butch Davis came into a meeting one day and he said 'If y'all came here for an education, you should've went to Harvard,'" Powell told the show's hosts.

(Here's Sports Illustrated's story. Here's Deadspin's.)

Probably the most explosive allegation made by Mr. Powell is that an unspecified "they" told some football players to deliberately do poorly on a test so they could be classified as learning disabled. 

For that and lots more details, see the Pack Pride bulletin board, where the interview was discussed almost in real time. Transcript of Mr. Powell's remarks here (scroll down the page). Loooong thread here

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