SI Vault
October 06, 1969
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October 06, 1969


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Ali yelled, "He wants to show he can whip me. He says he's the champion. Let him prove it in the ghetto, where the colored folks can see it."

When Ali reached Fairmount Park, the mob following along had grown to 2,000 people. But Frazier did not appear, finally, Ali yelled to the crowd, "If Joe Frazier had come down here this afternoon, then seven days from today he'd be a week-old ghost. Here I am, haven't had a fight in three years, 25 pounds overweight, and Joe Frazier won't show up. What kind of champ can he be?"

"A smart one," said Yank Durham, Frazier's trainer. "Neither one of these men are animals. Joe wasn't going to have a street fight in Fairmount Park, and Clay wasn't about to either."

The excitement in the park died down, and Ali got back into the red convertible. "Remember who's champ," he called out as the car drove off.

"You tell 'em, baby!" shouted a man, but a small boy, unimpressed, said, "Nothin' but mouth. He talks loud, but Joe's the champ."


Shickley High in Nebraska plays eight-man football (it has only 50 boys in a four-year high school), while Kenesaw High, somewhat larger, plays the standard 11-man game. The two schools wanted to play each other but did not quite know how. Finally, the wisdom of Solomon prevailed and it was decided that each team would do its own thing—on offense, anyway. When Shickley had the ball, Kenesaw took three players off the field and used an eight-man defense. When Kenesaw got possession, it went back to 11 men, and Shickley evened things up by adding three men to its defense.

Shickley, skilled in the razzle-dazzle offense of the eight-man game, romped to a 46-6 win. "Never again," said Kenesaw Coach Larry Adams. "My kids weren't used to covering that much territory per man on defense."

But what of Kenesaw's offense? Richard Ideau, Shickley's coach, said, "It's no wonder they couldn't move the ball. It's too crowded out there with 22 players on the field at the same time."


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