July 29, 2014

While We’re Waiting…Jim Brown vs. Muhammad Ali

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“During his nine-year playing career, Hall of Famer and former Browns running back Jim Brown was known for his unmatched athleticism and legendary toughness. Not only was he the best player of his era, he was one of the best players ever. In addition to what he accomplished on the football field, in college at Syracuse, Brown was a second-team All-American in basketball and a first-team All-American in lacrosse.

Given that he excelled at just about anything he tried, it’s not surprising that Brown briefly considered boxing after he retired from the NFL in 1965 at the age of 29. Specifically: Brown wanted to get in the ring with then-heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. And not just for a sparring match but for a full-on fight.

Brown had introduced promoter Bob Arum to Ali, so Arum felt that he owed Brown the courtesy of at least checking with the heavyweight champ to gauge his interest. This was 1966, Brown was a year removed from football and pursuing his acting career, and Ali was 24 and in his prime. So Arum took Brown’s message to the champ. The details, via this fantastic profile of Arum (who turns 81 Saturday) by Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix.” [Wilson/CBSSports]
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“So much of what Waiters does on the court is counter to what I have come to believe is truest and best and most valuable in the game of basketball. Some of this is simply and inevitably the product of Waiters’ youth, and his presence in a grown-man’s game. So of course at this point in his career, Waiters is practically Sisyphean in his efficiency; think about how crisp your execution was at age 20. In the three games before his recent ankle sprain—though exacerbated, one might argue, by an even greater share of the offensive burden than he had before Kyrie Irving’s finger injury and a relative invisibility to the officials’ whistles when he drives to the basket—Waiters had managed to shoot 24, 38 and 35 percent, which is all horrifyingly right around the 36% he’s shooting from the floor this year. He is (how to put this politely?) subject to consistent failure on defense. The reason I’ve taken to calling my new favorite Cavalier “Bulletproof,” not because he seems indestructible, but because it invariably looks as if he has been hit in mid-air by a sniper’s bullet every time he takes a jump shot. He is young and unfinished and plays like it. So, yes, there are problems. There are a lot of problems.”  [Attinweiler/The Classical]
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“Notre Dame won’t be the only team sporting gold helmets in college football’s postseason. Kent State will wear gold helmets in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

The Golden Flashes will play Arkansas State at 8 p.m. Jan. 6 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. The GoDaddy.com Bowl will be Kent State’s first bowl appearance since the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.” [Inabinett/The Birmingham News]

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Dion Waiters is great at a new stat, the Kobe Assist.

“However, while Nash was busy playmaking and while Kobe was busy jump shooting, Dwight Howard had taken about seven steps toward his happy place — the restricted area — fought off the gigantic DeMarcus Cousins, and gained optimal rebounding position. Kobe’s miss ricocheted upward from the rim before descending back down into the hands of Howard, who quickly put the ball in the basket; the Staples crowd went wild (in the dark). Did Kobe just miss a shot or did he just inadvertently set up Dwight Howard for an easy score? Are some of Kobe’s missed shots actually good for the Lakers? Are some of his misses kind of like assists?” [Goldsberry/Grantland]

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