A few prominent Louisville residents are planning to attend the auction and buy as many of the items as possible, hoping to bring them back to Louisville for a proposed Ali museum. The Ali Cup, too, appears set to return next year, and the Greatest has told friends that he intends to sell his estate in Michigan and, at long last, move back to Louisville. If Saturday's reception is any indication, he will be welcomed.
In turning down an offer to succeed Bill Frieder as the Arizona State basketball coach last week, Utah's Rick Majerus said, "Athletics are an endeavor in which coaches ask players for a commitment. I, in turn, have to reciprocate." Majerus's loyalty, however, was to his sweat suits as well as to his Utes. After a 180-55 record in eight seasons at Utah, Majerus is the primary college basketball icon for Reebok, which pays him between $500,00 and $700,000 a year. Nike has a deal pending to outfit Sun Devil teams but, with North Carolina's Dean Smith, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Arizona's Lute Olson already in its coaching stable, did not match Reebok's payout. Last season Frieder received $125,000 from Nike.
Though Majerus is said to have relished the prospect of coaching at Arizona State, athletic director Kevin White told The Arizona Republic, "There were some real dramatic complications that emerged with his current shoe company and us becoming a Nike company." (The implications of White's calling his school a company are another matter.) Those complications shouldn't arise with Frieder's interim successor, Sun Devils assistant Don Newman, who, as coach at Sacramento State from 1992 to '97, had a record of 20-114.
We Thought It Was Baseball
Summer is over, the days are growing shorter, and baseball is heading into the final week of the season. As any fan knows, now is the time for players to step up, to bear down, to take their play to another level (while continuing to do what got them there) and, of course, to focus. It's a time, in short, for heroics. As Ted Williams once said, "Baseball gives every American boy a chance to excel.... This is the nature of man and the name of the game."
Well, Teddy Ballgame—for whom game, after all, is part of the name—ought to know. Yet, as a read through the sports pages shows, when it comes to the nominal essence of the national pastime, the pros aren't exactly in agreement, even with themselves:
"The name of the game is offense."
—Los Angeles Dodgers manager Bill Russell.
"The name of the game is defense."
—Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams.
"Pitching's the name of the game."