Thursday, September 1, 2011



For long-time readers, this is a challenge that is sort of redundant, asking me to 'sweat'.  Sweating is something I do pretty much everyday, because i am either riding a bike, running ore weightlifting something (because I like my women thick and their legs aren’t exactly chicken bones!) throughout the day.  But I won’t expound on the topic too much because talking about sweat segues nicely into the next challenge.


…in Sports Illustrated on Nebraskans.

Have I mentioned how uniformly friendly the folks are in Omaha?  And given was said in the college football preview issue of Sports Illustrated ( cover date 22Aug2011) I am not the only one impressed by the kindness that is shown to strangers and the appreciation for exemplary performance that is shown by its football fans.  There was mention of how the fans in Lincoln stop at the corner when the ‘don’t walk’ sign flashes, which in most big cities and even college towns simply means to the average pedestrian to ‘saunter’ across (which is a step up from the sloth-like pace they were walking at!).  And while I don’t remember the game, but there was mention of when Texas running back Ricky Williams tore up the Huskers and broke their 47-game home winning streak.  Given that it was also the year that Williams would win the Heisman Trophy, I am sure that he stood on his head… and the Husker faithful gave him a standing ovation.

It isn’t just a love for Marlon Perkins (and the Henry Doorly Zoo, which remains unvisited!), the ‘unfrosted strawberry Pop-Tarts home whites of the Huskers that connect me to Nebraska.  There is also the cat from Kearney (I KNEW I would remember where he was from!!) that I beat to a fare-thee-well in a National Golden Glove in Des Moines that would further confirm what I felt about the state.

Unlike team sports, there is a lot of conversation between folks in solo sports, at least in boxing there is.  You have a camaraderie that reminds me of what the gladiators used to say in ancient Rome before they entered the coliseum.  Besides, if you are going to act like you are Roberto Duran, then honey pie, you had better FIGHT like Roberto Duran!  The ring is no place for that fake, store-bought courage.  It means you had better be in great shape and have your skills razor sharp, because if you have cheated and come in thinking you are going to scare your way to victory, you will have another thing coming.

Anywho, I never worried about talking smack because when I was a kid, my conditioning was ‘the diamond standard’.  I used to want to project through my body that I had come meaning business and to do work.  I would owe the sudden cessation of random folks f*ckin’ with me in the Motor to the spurt I had when I went from hockey to boxing and cut muscles quickly replaced the adolescent softness that my body had.  So I did not mind talking to cats because they could look at me and see what they were getting… and I was from Detroit too?  Dag, you KNEW this 
cat could fight!

The cat from Kearney was sitting around and we started talking about football.  Steve Taylor may have been the QB1 for the Huskers, I am not sure.  We’d chit chat about stuff during the week we were in fighting.  We both won our first two bouts but neither of us seen the other fight or knew the other’s weight… that isn’t true.  I knew HIS but he did not know mine, since I looked ‘bigger’ than a light-heavyweight.  After we both won our second bout he did ask what class I was in and when I replied ‘178’, his face went ashen.  We’d meet in the ring the next evening.

My first two wins were stoppages and from what I heard he had life or death struggles in advancing.  I know many cats would have placed a lot of emphasis on the ‘bad’ in assessing an opponent but that isn’t how I roll.  A winner is a winner is a winner, so I went into my ‘quiet place’ and got focused on what I had to for victory.  Good thing too, because the friendly Husker wasn’t scared and kept pluggin’ away no matter how hard I belted him.  I did take a rush at him for about 30 seconds of the first round and he had to take an 8-count, but he settled in and was there for the 3-round duration.  I smeared his face by bloodying his nose and smacking him around.  But he kept coming forward and punching, so I didn’t stop givin’ him what he came for.

Calling the win an ‘easy one’ does not do justice to the effort that was expended.  Since he did not want to go down I had to stay on my toes and move around the ring a lot.  He made me work and that was cool.  What was cool was how we kept our ‘tourney friendship’ after the fight.  I’d lose in the finals but he was in the audience and I have no doubt he was cheering for me as hard as anyone.


Even though there as some concerns, overall I don’t think I could be in a better place for me.  School starts next week and I am on pins and needles about that.  I can again see an edge but instead of the end of something I can see the beginning of something new.


Anonymous said...!

FrankandMary said...

I don't think many things have come your way "easy," but then you seem like your push yourself to come out on top(or as close to the top as possible), no matter. I admire that.

I'm happy & excited for you about the start of school coming up. ~Mary

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Outstanding that school starts next week. I am so happy, and proud, that you are doing so well there. I am looking forward to having you show me around.