The Greatest, The Giant, Rocky, and a Sports Peace Party

30 07 2008

June 26, 1976
Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki

The scene: America’s own 34-yr old heavyweight champion (of the world) versus Japan’s reining heavyweight wrestling champ at the Budokan Arena in Tokyo.

In a 15-round snooooze… The Greatest throws just 2 punches as Inoki spends most of the bout on his back, playing footsy with Ali.

Inoki no fight!

Inoki no fight!

Fans throw beer and fruit. Ali yells, ‘Inoki no fight! Inoki girl!!’

The fight is ruled a draw. Ali later swears off gimmick fights, but changes his mind 3 years later and whips NFL defensive lineman Lyle Alzado  in 8 rounds.

Inoki went on to win a seat in Japan’s parliament – representing the Sports and Peace party.

It gets stranger….

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Spreading Sports with the Spaceman

25 07 2008
Bill Lee Baseball Card

Bill Lee Baseball Card

Bill “Spaceman” Lee, graduate from the University of Southern California, was a popular MLB pitcher. As a charismatic pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, Lee had 3 consecutive 17-win seasons, made the 1973 All-Star team, and pitched in the 1975 World Series. Spaceman was a finesse lefty who threw a variety of off-speed pitches, including the ‘Space Ball.’ He is being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame on November 7, 2008.

Spaceman Lee is a true global advocate of the game. He was the first ballplayer ever to play in the Soviet Union, Red China and Cuba. He is a baseball purist and strong supporter of the traditions of the game. Lee is opposed to the designated hitter rule, polyester uniforms, and AstroTurf.

A reporter once asked Bill Lee if he preferred AstroTurf to grass. Lee replied, “I don’t know, I’ve never smoked AstroTurf

Lee earned his nickname “Spaceman” because of his openness on his drug use. He regularly sprinkled pot on his pre-game organic pancakes for good luck. He ate health food and practiced yoga. He claimed his marijuana use made him immune to bus fumes while jogging to work at Fenway Park.

After retiring in 1982, Spaceman ran for President of the United States. He campaigned on the slogan

“No guns. No butter. Both can kill”.

 

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