Today's TeeFury design almost makes up for my missing out on the Leia the Riveter tee (no, it doesn't).
wolfpangs: (bammer)
I miss my grandmother a lot and sometimes, it really gets to me, but times like today...I really wish she could've seen this game.

O...Bama.

Nov. 29th, 2008 08:51 pm
wolfpangs: (bammer)
So today is the Iron Bowl, aka the most wonderful time of the year, aka the day of the Alabama-Auburn game. Now this year has been particularly delightful, because Alabama has gone unbeaten while Auburn...has not. (Their 17-34 loss to West Virginia was particularly schadenfreudelicious.) I continued my this season tradition of making it to Alabama game time and then comatosing through the game, so I had no idea of the outcome when I awoke this evening. My telephone blinked blue. There was a text message.

Now when you receive a text on the Sidekick, it displays the first few words of the message on the text jump screen. This read, "Ber [my sister, who sent the message]: Auburn may have w--." Emotionally, this is just under the equivalent of receiving a text on November 4th that read, "John McCain may have w--." I clicked through to the message, which read in full, "Auburn may have won the past 6 years, but like Barack Obama said, 'It's time for a change!'" YES, WE CA--wait, what? My sister is a Republican and not a politics geek, so she doesn't know all the catchphrases and you know, I don't remember his saying that at all. In fact, that was Tom Dewey's catchphrase, and if you recognize that name, there is probably one reason why. So I went online to puzzle this out.

On election night, I was watching the news coverage but switched to the Daily Show when the news got me too keyed up. Soon, even the Daily Show was too much and I started listening to music, while I had the Daily Show on mute and an electoral map open in a tab. I would occasionally refresh it, but it hadn't really changed in a long time. [This "long time" was probably ten minutes.] All of a sudden, around ten pm, I refreshed it and there was a check mark next to Senator Obama's name. I stared at the screen in confusion. The map hadn't been updated yet with the most recent totals and again, it was ten. I could no longer remember an election night with a bedtime. I turned the TV volume back on, just in time to hear this:



[I still feel like the little boy in glasses and the Home Alone pose at the top of this pic when I see that.]

That required checking a few more thousand sources just to make sure. I didn't require nearly as many for the outcome of the Iron Bowl. It is again, not the same as finding out the outcome of the election, but when I saw it, I couldn't help but exclaim, "Oh!" Among my prayers this year, two have been that my grandmother would live to see her beloved Alabama win again and that she would live to see the election of a President with more than one vowel in his last name (to steal a phrase from Jeffrey Eugenides). President...done. Alabama...oh. It's been an interesting year. I'm an aunt! That still blows my mind. Sadie is just now starting to engage with the world--she's social smiling and she'll watch people/animals around her (she's very bemused by the dogs). She's fascinated when people sing to her. So for her, here's her favorite song right now:



(I do not know what's going on with the Chief in this video--apparently he is reaching a higher plane of existence.)
If you didn't see the men's 4x100m relay, you should because it's incredibly awesome. Especially if you're an American. Probably not if you're French. Especially if you're Alain Bernard.
wolfpangs: (fairy)
My favorite Best of Craigslist post is "How To Be A Man 101," in which the anonymous author explains how in lieu of his abusive father, Muhammad Ali taught the author how to be. The author grew up in rural America and he didn't know anything about the Nation of Islam or where Ali was coming from. But he knew his father hated Ali and as he explains, "...I hated my dad. So I decided I loved Muhammad Ali."

The author followed Ali's career through the many highs and through the low point when he was banned from boxing for dodging the draft. In 1970, he was allowed to fight again and a year later, the Supreme Court overturned Ali's conviction for refusing induction. By 1974, he'd fought his way back to a title shot. That shot was against someone whom you likely think of as the friendly guy trying to sell you small kitchen appliances. But that wasn't the case back in '74, as the author explains:

"In 1974, Muhammad Ali fought a real-life, living, breathing boogey man: George Foreman. A giant of a man that had actually crippled other fighters in the ring. He'd decimated both Frazier and Norton in previous fights. He'd hit Frazier so hard he lifted him four feet off the mat. He'd knocked Kenny Norton asleep. He beat him like a rug the year earlier and Norton didn't wake up until he was in his dressing room. As often as the movies may portray that sort of thing, the truth is in professional fighting it's nearly unheard of."

And Ali was at 32, over-the-hill in the world of boxing. From ye olde Wiki: Almost no one, not even Ali's long-time supporter Howard Cosell, gave the former champion a chance of winning. Analysts pointed out that Joe Frazier and Ken Norton had given Ali four tough battles in the ring and won two of them, while Foreman had knocked out both of them in the second round. As a matter of fact, so total was the domination that, in their bout, Foreman had knocked down Frazier an incredible six times in only four minutes and 25 seconds.

None of that seemed to affect him, though, as the anonymous author remembers:

"Foreman could barely put a sentence together back then - he usually just glared at people if he didn't feel like acknowledging him. Ali, on the other hand, had done the impossible over the past 10 years: he had gone from Most Hated Athlete in America to Most Adored HUMAN on the Face of the Earth. And, of course, he reveled in it. He talked about EVERYthing - tooth decay, racism, boxing, music, magic tricks...anything that caught his fancy. Smiling, laughing, giggling, chortling, merry-making his way through the sweltering pre-rainy season of Kinsasha. Not a care in the world.

Of course, that wasn't true, though. Ali was worried."

Since Ali could not possibly overpower Foreman, he planned to employ the Rope-a-dope, a style in which basically, he leaned on the ropes of the ring and hoped he could withstand Foreman's punches until the giant was worn out. "Years later he acknowledged his fear in an interview with George Plimpton. 'I was afraid for my children,' he said, 'I was afraid if maybe Big George broke my spinal column or something, how would I feed my children?' My God, it's astonishing to think of the fear that must have enveloped him for those three months prior to the fight."

Ali withstood nearly eight rounds of pummeling, fighting mostly defensively until there were about thirty seconds left in the round. This is the last minute and change of the eighth round:



!!! G.O.A.T. !!! I highly recommend reading the post, if only to find out what happened when the author finally got to tell Ali what he had meant.

You were. You are.

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