•Billy Conn (1939-40). After outboxing Joe Louis for the first 12 rounds of their 1941 bout, the cocky Conn told his corner he was "gonna knock the bum out." Louis flattened him in the 13th. "What's the sense of being Irish if you can't be dumb?" Conn said of his reckless strategy.
•Archie Moore (1952-62). The OF Mongoose, who didn't win the light heavyweight title until he was 39, had Rocky Marciano on the deck in their 1955 bout, but the Rock rose and rolled over Moore in nine. Moore lost to Floyd Patterson the next year and to soon-to-be-champ Cassius Clay in '62.
•Michael Spinks (1983-85). Spinks, the brother of former heavyweight champ Leon, broke the jinx when he outpointed Larry Holmes in 15 rounds in 1985. He beat Holmes again and KO'd Gerry Cooney before succumbing to Mike Tyson in 91 seconds in '88.
What Damage Done?
Last Friday a bomb rocked Stockholm's 85-year-old Olympic Stadium, blowing out its electrical system and spraying glass, roof tiles and debris from the press section. The explosion was the eighth assault on a sports facility in Stockholm since May (SCORECARD, July 21), and it came less than a month before the IOC will choose the host of the 2004 Summer Games from among Stockholm and four other cities. Several IOC members were visiting the city at the time of the blast (which injured no one) and a headline in Aftonbladet the next day proclaimed END OF THE OLYMPIC DREAM. "After last night's bomb," one story said, "we don't have a chance."
Police have refused to confirm that the incidents are linked or that they are the work of an anti-Olympic group. But the nation's public television station reported that "the police are convinced that the attack is directed against Sweden's Olympic bid," and on Monday a group calling itself We Who Built Sweden took credit for the destruction, threatening further action unless Stockholm withdrew its bid. The latest target was a crowning symbol of the Games, the world's oldest Olympic stadium still in regular use. In the Stockholm stadium in 1912, King Gustav V placed a gold medal around the neck of a 24-year-old U.S. decathlete and announced, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world." To which Jim Thorpe responded, "Thanks, King."
Stockholm is thought to be trailing Rome and Athens in the race to claim the Games. (The other bidders are Cape Town and Buenos Aires.) But it is possible that the latest attack will actually work in Stockholm's favor, given the IOC's hard-line stance against terrorism. "We are not put off by that sort of behavior," says IOC executive board member Kevan Gosper of Australia. "On the contrary, I think it strengthens our resolve not to let it affect the result."
The Umpires' State
Angry that Baltimore Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar was suspended for only five games after spitting in the face of John Hirschbeck last Sept. 27, major league umpires vowed this spring to be less tolerant of on-field disrespect. In the preseason, players and managers were ejected for the slightest transgression. Since then the Alomar fallout has been less conspicuous. There has not been a significant increase in ejections, partly because players have chosen to be less contentious.
"When they said they would have no tolerance, I took them at their word," says Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros. American League umpire Rocky Roe believes players have been less antagonistic because the spitting incident created empathy for the umps. "A lot of players found it a despicable act," says Roe. "As a byproduct, we have a little more respect. I haven't seen arguments become as violent as in the past."