- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"I need this," Breland told Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post. "I need to do more than shadow-box and skip rope. I need to work with the pads like I do with Emanuel."
Tate reportedly said, "Shadow-boxing and jumping rope ain't gonna get it. I have to do what's best for me. I feel 200 percent better right now than I did after my first fight. I wasn't sharp then. Nobody was."
Added McCrory, "There's nothing Pat Nappi can do about it. He can't kick us off the team. He just can't handle everybody. We're tired of the b——."
When the reports of what had been said got back to Nappi, he decided it was time he went home to Syracuse, N.Y. He was more hurt than angry. When team manager Ed Silverglade learned Nappi had left the athletes' village on the USC campus, he called Jim Fox, executive director of the USA Amateur Boxing Federation. Fox, who's 6'4½", set off for the airport. With him went Col. Harvey Schiller, the director of Olympic boxing competition, who stands 6'4". Nappi is only 5'8".
Later, when all had been resolved, Fox laughingly told a friend, "If worse came to worst, Harvey and I had decided we'd just pick up Pat and carry him back until he cooled off."
At the airport Fox and Schiller persuaded Nappi to return. At 1:45 a.m. they arrived at Fox's room on the fourth floor of the University Hilton, where the two tall men got Nappi to cool off under a shower.
Meanwhile, Shelly Finkel, Breland's agent, discovered that Nappi had left for the airport. He hurried over to the athletes' village to talk to his 21-year-old fighter.
"Oh, no," said Breland, shaken by the news. "I've got to talk to Pat. We've got to find him."
"Where?" asked Pernell Whitaker, Breland's closest friend on the team, who would be the gold medal winner in the lightweight class. "That's a big airport. He could be anyplace."
The following morning, after his three-mile run, Breland went to Nappi and apologized, saying that he didn't want to see Steward again until after the Olympics.