- A home away from homeAt Chicago's elegant Casino club, good eating goes with good sport at the card tableMary Frost Mabon | March 16, 1959
- The Cash was launderedPeter Gammons | May 02, 1977
- Three and OutStewart Mandel | October 11, 2004
The people who screamed "ban boxing" never did say on what grounds. Oh, there were words from certain politicians and even His Holiness Pope John XXIII, that it should be outlawed on the grounds that it is barbaric. But this is not only ridiculous, it is biased and unfair. The opponents of boxing are quick to tell us that boxing should not exist, because we point out that there are "more gentle" deaths in mountain climbing, auto racing, hiking, etc., too. But therein lies the crux of the whole matter. Why single out one sport because of certain risks involved, and let others thrive with the same or even greater risks (including that big sport—the flight to the moon)? Unless boxing is banned because of a defect in its morality, then it should not be banned unless all other "risk-ridden" activities are also banned. Ironically, the critics seldom touch the moral aspect. It's just as well since almost no fighters have ever expressed a desire to render permanent harm or injury ( Sugar Ramos expressed this beautifully).
Once again, I must applaud you for mentioning boxing's age-old miseries—the influence of hoodlums and lack of scientific research with regard to better protection (though the latter was hardly a factor in Davey's demise). This kind of constructive criticism is always welcome. Last fall you had an excellent article on the morality of boxing (SI, Nov. 5). Morton Sharnik's masterpiece rates beside it.
I was a college boxer at the University of Wisconsin and won the NCAA title at 145 pounds in 1952. Two years later I was knocked out and given an electroencephalographic test. They detected what they termed "slow waves" and did not allow me to fight again. I can't help but feel that that test prevented me from incurring serious damage.
However, college boxing did give me two important things: a college education and the realization that difficult situations must be faced—not only in the ring but in later life as well. There was never a lime waiting in the dressing room before a fight that I didn't wish somehow that I wouldn't have to go through with the ring battle.
Boxing taught me a lesson my father might have learned many years before when he left our family of five after our mother's death. In other words, boxing gave mean education and a more important lifelong lesson in facing difficult situations. In addition, the scientific procedures available saved me from possible serious injury. I came out way ahead of the game.
SOME KIND OF NUTS
I hasten to reassure those who think these clever quadrupeds will not find Nutty Narrows Bridge. It would probably be a well-merited gesture to their intelligence to give them at least a few days to learn the new way across the street before marking it out with nuts. I'll bet a quarter they'd find it.