(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Friday, April 04, 2008

Still Smokin'

Joe Frazier may have some tax and back problems, but he's still alive and well and actually doing fine. Read this piece and see for yourself.

The article reports that EA Sports recently signed Smokin' Joe for a video game. In some games, the controllers vibrate when you're trying to kick a field goal or convert a penalty shot late in the game. In this one, will the controller nail you with the equivalent of a right cross when you're in the 15th round of a title fight in the Felt Forum? Look forward to this game, especially if it's on the Wii.

Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest of all-time (Louis and Marciano fans, among others, will debate endlessly whether he was actually "The Greatest"), with Frazier atop the next tier. But remember this, it took a series of great fighters, led by the very tough Joe Frazier, to help cement Ali's legend as a master pugilist. After all, Larry Holmes was a most capable champion, but he didn't have the opponents that Ali did during his time (and therefore doesn't get all that much respect (in fairness to Holmes, you fought who was available, so it's not his fault that he didn't have the legendary opponents to defeat that Ali did, and Holmes did make it look pretty easy). Despite all of Ali's histrionics (which were cloaked in nastiness) toward Frazier (who hardly deserved them), it took the excellence of Joe Frazier (and three amazing fights) to help galvanize the Ali legend.

Joe Frazier was one helluva fighter.

And he's still out there, battling.


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