- 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 BIT OF CHEEK
Yes, Rocky Marciano really did beat Don Cockell that recent evening in San Francisco (see page 42), but there was a time on the night of the fight and the day afterward when very little agreement could be found on what happened in that famously shrunken ring on the floor of Kezar Stadium. In fact, it almost seemed as if four different fights were in progress.
For suspense nothing equaled the version served up on radio—a give-and-take affair with the issue always in doubt. The two fighters were pounding each other mercilessly as first one and then the other appeared on the verge of a knockout. On television the fight had a more ethereal quality. Between the intervals when static turned the theatre screen into a French abstraction by Jacques Villon the Villon took place in a kind of half-world of misty gray—in which the blows seemed almost simulated.
The British and American newsmen sitting at ringside could agree on only one thing: they had watched a gory engagement. To an American the winning margin was Rocky's "monstrous strength and muscular violence." He was just too much a fighter for the challenger. But to an English writer, Rocky looked more like a rogue lion who had deserted the pride than a Marquess of Queensberry disciple: "It is as though he would tear the flesh from his opponent's body, crush and pulverize his very bones, split asunder his veins and tear out his very heart and liver."
A few days later, Cockell's truculent manager, assuming the philosophic approach, tried to synthesize the Anglo-American conflict. "It's lyke this," he said. "When you 'ave a child, and you don't slap 'im, he'll be cheeky when he grows up. Ryte? Now your chaps are cheeky. They're cheeky fyters. Our boys aren't cheeky; they grow up disciplined by the rules."
HANK BAUER, DANCER
Hank Bauer of the Yankees is one of the professional athletes signing testimonials now appearing in newspapers in behalf of Arthur Murray's dancing lessons. "I used to 'take a walk' when others danced," Bauer's statement says, "but those days are gone forever. You see, I used to think learning to dance was 'sissy' stuff, but I don't any more. Lessons at Arthur Murray's proved to me that dancing is as much fun as any big league sport."
This is the same Hank Bauer who sent Nellie Fox, White Sox second baseman, sprawling the other day, thus breaking up a sure double play, getting himself ruled out for interference and touching off what promises to be a Yankee-White Sox feud good for the rest of the season.
If the purpose of the Arthur Murray lessons is to make a guy light on his feet, maybe Arthur should call Hank back for a refresher course. Might even teach Hank a few new steps. And for what it is worth, let Arthur be advised that the next Bauer-Fox dance around second base in Comiskey Park in Chicago isn't likely to be a waltz.