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Scorecard
February 28, 2000
Ring of TruthAn ex-champ sues over how he's depicted in The Hurricane
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February 28, 2000

Scorecard

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Power Couplings

Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi appear set to tie the knot. Will the conjoining of her 107 career singles titles and 22 Grand Slam victories and his 45 and 6 create the greatest sports pairing ever? Here's a look at a few other memorable sweat marriages.

MARRIAGE

Emil Z�topek and Dana Ingrov�

Harold Connolly and Olga Fikotov�

Terry Bradshaw md Jo Jo Starbuck

Ray Knight and Nancy Lopez

Don Drysdale and Ann Meyers

Al Joyner and Florence Griffith

Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci

FROM

1948

1957

1976

1982

1986

1987

1996

UNTIL

Today

Their '74 divorce

Their '81 divorce

Today

His death in '93

Flo-Jo's death in'98

Today

HIS

Olympic gold medals in 10,000 meters in '48; in 5,000,10,000 and marathon in '52

Olympic gold medal in hammer throw for U.S. at Melbourne in '56

Four Super Bowl rings as Steelers quarterback

MVP of'86 World Series; scored winning run in classic Game 6 that year

'62 Cy Young Award; long held record for I consecutive scoreless innings (58)

Olympic gold in triple jump at Los Angeles in 1984

Individual gold in parallel bars and team gold in men's combined at '84 Games

HERS

Olympic gold medal in javelin at Helsinki in '52; silver at Rome in '60

Olympic gold medal in discus for Czechoslovakia in'56

Three U.S. pairs figure skating titles; two bronze medals at worlds

48 career LPGA victories; three majors; four-time player of the year

Four-time All-America guard at UCLA; Olympic silver medal in '76

Three golds and two silvers at L.A. and Seoul; her 100-meter record still stands

Five golds, nine total medals at 76 and '80 Games; first gymnast to score a 10

THEIRS

No kids

2 sons, 2 daughters

No kids

3 daughters

2 sons, 1 daughter

1 daughter

No kids

LOVE NOTE

During training Emil often carried Dana on his shoulders to build up strength as he ran.

A year after their Olympic Village romance, he cut through Czech red tape, married Olga and brought her to the U.S.

Said self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bradshawofwife No. 2, "All she wanted to do was spend my money...and skate."

"Women in Georgia are like servants to their men," said Lopez, "and it took me a while to get Ray over expecting that."

He courted her by showing up at her New Jersey Gems games with Bob Uecker in tow (and she still married him).

At their Las Vegas wedding she wore a $29 gown and veil from Goodwill, her costume from the previous Halloween.

She dug her heel into his foot during their church wedding in Bucharest, symbolizing her lifelong grip on him.

Ring of Truth
An ex-champ sues over how he's depicted in The Hurricane

Joey Giardello, Philadelphia's most celebrated middleweight of the 1950s and '60s, had a record of 100-25-7 with 32 knockouts. To boxing cognoscenti, he was known for his artful dodge and potent jab. But today thousands of filmgoers know Giardello, now 69, as the man who was given a gift decision over Rubin (Hurricane) Carter in a 1964 championship bout.

The three-minute opening sequence of The Hurricane reenacts the Dec. 14, 1964, middleweight title fight held in Philadelphia's Convention Hall. In the scene, Carter, played by Oscar nominee Denzel Washington, relentlessly pummels Giardello into the ropes during the final round, only to have judges award the home-town fighter a unanimous decision to uproarious crowd protest According to Giardello and to witnesses, however, Giardello was the rightful winner of a well-received 15-round decision. Even Carter admitted in a C-Span interview on Feb. 5, "Joey clearly outboxed me...and therefore I did not win the title."

Claiming that the film inaccurately portrays him as a weak fighter and the beneficiary of a racially motivated decision, Giardello (whose real name is Carmine Tilelli) filed suit on Feb. 16 against Universal Pictures, Beacon Communications and Azoff Films. In addition to unspecified money damages, he wants future copies of the movie to include a trailer showing archival footage of the fight.

While the historical accuracy of The Hurricane—which purports to tell the "true story" of Carter's unjust imprisonment-has been widely called into question (SI, Jan. 17), Giardello, who lives in Cherry Hill, N.J., knew nothing about the movie until a Philadelphia Daily News writer took him to see it in January. "I was shocked," he says of seeing his celluloid double trapped on the ropes, bloodied by a whirlwind of Hurricane blows. "I thought that I had easily beat him." Contemporary reports of the fight concurred that Giardello, the 34-year-old titleholder, was far superior to the 27-year-old challenger. "Giardello was too old and smart to be moved into a corner by a young bull," wrote Robert Lipsyte of The New York Times. "Joey took over in the 10th, scoring left hooks to the body." Reported TIME, "Counterpunching craftily, scoring heavily with short chopping hooks, Giardello won a lopsided victory to the delight of 6,000 fans."

Boxing writer Bert Sugar, who watched the fight on closed-circuit television, says the negative spin the film puts on a fair fight damages not just the reputation of Giardello, a Hall of Fame fighter, but also of a sport that has been taking it on the chin for years. "What Titanic did to ocean travel, The Hurricane does to boxing," he says. "Anybody with two eyes knows that Giardello beat Carter six ways to Sunday. Thrown fights may be a cinematic clich�, but this movie has made boxing part of a larger social injustice."

As for Giardello, a father of four who beat Dick Tiger, Billy Graham and Sugar Ray Robinson before retiring in 1967, his concerns are simpler: "I want my children to know that their father was a great fighter."

HIGH SCHOOL SCANDAL
Silent Autumn

Though he coached the Henry Ford High football team to the Detroit Public School League title last fall, Mike Marshall has little to say about the season. His aversion to speaking is understandable; the tremors from a startling decision he made last summer are just now being felt. Upon learning that Eric Knott, his star tight end, had been charged in August in the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, Marshall did nothing—not even notify officials at his school. "I wanted [Eric] to be able to go through his senior year without that kind of distraction," Marshall said after the charges became public knowledge in late January. Though he has admitted having heard "a million different stories" about the incident "way back in the summer," he chose not to tell school administrators because, "It was a lot of he-said-she-said kind of thing."

According to the police report, Eric, along with quarterback Damon Dowdell and a third boy who was not on the team, assaulted the girl last July 25 in Eric's father's car. Responding to a 911 call from the girl's mother, cops said they saw her leave the vehicle, which was parked down the block from her house, and run toward them, screaming that she had been forced to perform oral sex. She later charged that she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse, among other sex acts. Eric, who was 17 and thus an adult under Michigan law, was arraigned on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and pleaded not guilty. Sixteen-year-old Damon and the third boy, as juveniles, were held but not charged with any crime.

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