- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
A POX ON TAXES
Like most fighters who have made fortunes in the ring and lost them in Internal Revenue offices, Ingemar Johansson is understandably irritated about it all. "All" is a tax system that makes charges against boxers' rare bonanzas quite as if they were salaried workers whose earnings are spread over 40 years or more. Not that Ingemar is destitute. He is, in fact, wealthy, and was comparatively rich before he ever fought Floyd Patterson or sang with Dinah Shore.
Still, some rather intemperate remarks were attributed to him not too long ago in the Swedish evening newspaper Expressen. According to Expressen, Ingemar said:
"I don't care two pins about Sweden or America. I have enough money in Switzerland. The dividends are so large that I could not spend them all whatever I did.... There are as many gangsters in tax establishments in the U.S. as in professional boxing.... The Americans can search with binoculars for my tax money. I haven't the slightest idea of using my money in Switzerland to pay taxes in the U.S. The money I have in the U.S. can go to tax...perhaps 2 million kronor. I have been sentenced to pay 5 million. The 3 million lacking they can consider themselves cheated of."
Ingemar has about $350,000 in escrow in the U.S., and his tax bill is a bit more than $1 million. He insisted later that the quotes were "cursed lies" and "gross misunderstanding."
Well, even though his indignation may have been overstated, you can't blame Ingemar for being mad about the tax deal. Fighters are especially handicapped by our tax laws—as, for instance, Joe Louis. They are entitled to rant somewhat. More than a few of us loyal Americans will, on the eve of April 16, do a little snarling, too.
A VOTE FOR NO VOTE
THE LATIN HERO
David Brinkley's Journal, which made its first appearance on television 14 weeks ago, last week examined Antonino Rocca, the most famous wrestler currently performing in America. Brinkley presented Rocca not merely as a pro wrestler but as the idol of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans living in the continental U.S.
Brinkley described Rocca (who is, incidentally, an Argentine) and the Puerto Rican adulation of him in subjective detail: "The second-raters, the bums and the freaks have been in the ring and warmed up the customers, and now it is time for the Latin Hero. He will appear—all muscle and animal vigor—and the audience will sit there and watch him act out their dreams. He may lose the first fall, but in the end his great strength and noble purpose, like virtue, always wins. They watch this act repeated over and over and never tire of it. If anyone tells them it is planned, they don't care. They like the show and like the way it turns out; and if it takes some planning and arranging to make it turn out right, that's the way it is in everyday life, and nobody cares. And for the Puerto Ricans, Tony Rocca is the man who fights their battles, takes on the Anglo-Saxons, who are always villains, and wins for them. They see him as a strong, simple and honest hero with a strong, simple and honest heart."