Category: Sports

Men of the Square Table: Who Makes Man Laws Now?

In 2007, Miller Lite ran a series of ads called Man Laws.  The idea was that a group of highly respected (and manly) men met in secret to create the Laws by which men are to live.  The ads were humorous and well done.  Here is the introduction to the concept…

And here are some of the ads…

If the Men of the Square Table were to come together today, what men would be invited?  Who would replace Burt Reynolds as the leader of the group?  Here are my suggestions…

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov:  UFC MMA Champion, retired undefeated 29 – 0
  • Kurt Angle: Gold Medal Winner: 1996 Olympics in Wrestling, Pro-Wrestler
  • Idris Elba: Actor, Kickboxer
  • Shaquille O’Neal: Basketball
  • Marvelous Marvin Hagler: Boxing  (I wrote this post up several days before Mr. Hagler died.  Out of respect to him, I elected to not change this. – Craig)
  • Danny Trejo: Actor
  • Chuck Zito: Actor, Celebrity Bodyguard, Stuntman, Former President of the New York chapter of the Hells Angels
  • Oleksii Novikov: 2020 World’s Strongest Man
  • Eugene Goodman: Capitol Police Officer
  • Sylvester Stallone: Actor and Leader of the Table

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Monthly Newsletter!

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently started a monthly newsletter.  I signed up and am glad I did.  Arnold gives a real glimpse to what is going on in his life, his passions/causes, health tips, jokes, and more.  The newsletter is positive, upbeat and inspiring.  Here are a few tidbits…

I get questions non-stop about how I stay positive during the pandemic, how I train, how I eat, and I decided I can use this newsletter to answer questions and keep all of you up to date on what I’m doing, what I’m thinking, and what vision I’m currently chasing…

I decided to switch from sweatpants to regular pants for a meeting recently and let me tell you, I spent the whole meeting feeling like I was in a straitjacket, just waiting to put my sweats back on… Now I’m committing to all of you: This month I am going to drop the weight I gained and get back to 218 again. I am going to conquer March. Who is with me?…

One thing that has always bothered me about politics is that some people refuse to even sit down and talk with people from the other party. It’s absurd. But political parties are in the business of villainizing the other side. That’s how they make money – the more they make you hate or fear the enemy, the more donations come in. I’ve had it…

If there is one political message you leave with, please don’t make people the enemy over politics, because then you can’t talk and find common ground. Even when someone is prejudiced, I try not to demonize them, because once I do that, I have lost my chance to open their mind and get them to think differently…

On a much lighter note, here is some advice for those of you always struggling with finding gifts. I celebrated Valentine’s Day by painting some handmade cards like I always do…

My Netflix spy series – which reminded me of a new version of True Lies, so I signed on immediately – is coming along and once it’s safe to shoot we’ll get going. I have also signed on to a few other scripts I’m excited to share but the one I’m really excited for is the script for the sequel to Twins, Triplets

That’s just a small taste.  If you’re interested in getting Arnold’s newsletter just click over and look for the sign-up at the bottom right of the page.

RIP: Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport, died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 66.  The announcement was made by his wife and no cause of death was given.  

Hagler, whose professional boxing record was 62 – 3 – 2, with 52 wins by knockout, dominated the middleweight division from the time he won the title on September 27, 1980 until his controversial split decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard on April 6, 1987.  Along the way, Hagler beat anyone they put in front of him including all the great middleweights of the era – Alan Minter, Vito Antuofermo, Mustafa Hamsho, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and many others.

Hagler’s fight with Tommy Hearns lasted less than 3 rounds, but is considered by many fight fans to be not only the most exciting fight in boxing history, but it also contains the most exciting round ever.  Hagler won the fight by a TKO before the end of the third round.

Hagler lost the title in a controversial split decision to Sugar Ray Leonard.  Leonard who was warned for holding in every round, fought in spurts and did enough in two judges’ eyes to win.  Fight enthusiasts and reporters were split in their opinions as to who should have won the fight with an extremely slight majority favoring Hagler.  Although one would think that a title fight decided on such a razor-thin margin would demand an immediate rematch, it never happened.  Leonard announced his retirement, despite Hagler’s request for a rematch.  Hagler waited for the Leonard to change his mind, but when after 14 months that didn’t happen, Hagler officially retired.  A month later, Leonard announced a comeback against another fighter.  By this point, Hagler was done with boxing for good and moved to Italy where he starred in action movies.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was named Fighter of the Decade (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated magazine.  He was the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985 and Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985.  Marvelous Marvin Hagler was inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

I was a huge Marvelous Marvin Hagler fan.  Hagler was a fighter’s fighter.  I watched Hagler’s fights on television and pay-per-view.  Hagler provided so many great evenings spent with family watching him perform.  His fight against Tommy Hearns is perhaps the most exciting boxing match in the history of the sport.  I have a post scheduled for Tuesday (written a few days ago) in which I spotlight Marvelous Marvin Hagler as one of my choices to be in a group of “men’s men”, little knowing that he would pass on before the post would ever be published.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s family, friends and fans.  

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 – “The Rumble in the Jungle”

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 is a new graphic novel that combines the famous Abbas photographs with a story by writer JD Morvan and artist Rafael Ortiz that gives context to the pictures.  Abbas was in Kinshasa, Zaire to photograph the political unrest at the same time the famed Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took place.  As things worked out Abbas was able to chronicle events leading up to an including the fight.

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 is an interesting idea and looks like a well done book.  If you’d like to see more than the cover above and preview page below, click over to an interview with JD Morvan which provides more insight and preview pages.  If you’d like to order Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974, it is available now.  (I will get a small percentage of each sale made using the link.)

RIP: Leon Spinks

Leon Spinks, Olympic Gold medal boxer and former Heavyweight Boxing Champ of the World, died yesterday at age 67 from prostrate cancer.

Leon Spinks won three consecutive national AAU light heavyweight boxing championships.  He was a light heavyweight bronze medalist in the 1974 World Championships, a light heavyweight silver medalist in the 1975 Pan Am games, and a light heavyweight gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics.

Spinks was best known for his upset victory of Mohammad Ali which catapulted him in the national spotlight.  Spinks got the opportunity to face Ali after just 8 professional fights.  Ali was looking at Spinks as a tune-up for a tougher rematch against Ken Norton.  Spinks was a relatively inexperienced pro who had fought most of his career as a light-heavyweight.  Surprisingly, Spinks out-boxed Ali over the course of 15 rounds and won a split-decision victory!

The boxing commission wanted Spinks to next face Ken Norton who was the number 1 contender for the title.  Spinks refused, instead opting to give Ali a rematch.  Spinks was striped of the title.  Ali came to the rematch in shape (no longer under-estimating Spinks) and easily won.  Spinks continued fighting in both the heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions,  In 1981, Spinks fought Larry Holmes for the Heavyweight Championship, losing by TKO in the 3rd.

I remember watching the first Spinks/Ali fight and being surprised at Leon’s performance.  As the fight wore on it became clear that history was being made.  I also was impressed that Spinks was willing to give up the title to give Ali a chance to avenge the loss.  He said he wanted to return the opportunity that Ali had given him.

Leon Spinks won three consecutive national AAU light heavyweight championships.  He was a light heavyweight bronze medalist in the 1974 World Championships, a light heavyweight silver medalist in the 1975 Pan Am games, and a light heavyweight gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Leon Spinks’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Mike Henry

Mike Henry, best known for his roles as Tarzan in three feature films and Sheriff Bufford T. Justice’s son in three Smokey and the Bandit movies has died.  Henry died at age 84 on January 8th, from chronic traumatic encephalopathy after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Henry was a standout linebacker at USC and went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1958 – 1961) and the Los Angeles Rams (1962 – 1964).  Henry had played a few minor roles prior to his retirement from football and in 1966 he got the lead as Tarzan in three feature films.  

After playing Tarzan, Henry alternated between guest spots on television and co-starring roles in feature films.  Mike Henry appeared in an episode of Burt Reynold’s series, Dan August and also had a role in Reynold’s feature film, The Longest Yard.  Henry also appeared twice in Charlton Heston films (Soylent Green and Skyjacked) and twice in John Wayne movies (The Green Berets and Rio Lobo).  Most fans may know Henry best as Jackie Gleason’s sidekick in three Smokey and the Bandit films where Henry played Sheriff Bufford T. Justice’s dimwit son, Junior Justice.

I first saw Henry in his Tarzan trilogy which was a new take on the King of the Jungle.  Now Tarzan was an educated, almost James Bond type character.  It was a shocking change, but one that was interesting.  Henry definitely had the physique to play Tarzan.  After the three films, Henry was offered the chance to play Tarzan in the television series that was being developed, but he declined.

In 1988, Henry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he retired from acting.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Henry’s family, friends and fans.

 

Check Out the Amazing Animated Short “Dernier Round” (“Last Round”)

Check out this amazing animated short, Dernier Round (Last Round) created by a talented group of student filmmakers from France.  Dernier Round felt like the set-up for a wonderful full-length movie that I’d love to see!

“In a Parisian suburb, a promising young boxer must find a way to finance the future of his little sister, a piano prodigy.”

Source: FirstShowing.net.

“UFC1: Origins” – The Trailer is Here!

Below is the trailer to UFC1: Origins.  I am a huge fan of UFC and mixed martial arts.  Truth be told, when the UFC first began, I wouldn’t tune in.  There were no weight classes and few if any rules.  I loved the idea of the top talent of each style (boxing, karate, wresting, jujitsu, etc.) facing each other in contest but to me it wasn’t a true sport yet…

Once there were rules and weight classes in place I was on board.  I watch UFC and Bellator regularly.  The interesting thing that has happened over the last 20 years or so is that the best fighters no longer have just one style.  They have grown up to be true mixed-martial artists!

From the producers of THE LAST DANCE. Tracing the roots of the pro-MMA league back to its tumultuous first event in 1993, UFC1: ORIGINS explores the improbable tale of how Rorion Gracie, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, and Art Davie, once a used car salesman, teamed with Bob Meyrowitz’s pay-per-view company SEG to mount UFC 1 in Denver and launch a sports phenomenon.

RIP: Jacqueline Stallone

Jacqueline Stallone passed away this morning at the age of 98.  Best known as the mother of Sylvester and Frank Stallone, she was much more than just the parent of famous brothers.

Here is part of what Frank posted on his Instagram

This morning my brothers and I lost our mother Jackie Stallone . She was the mother to four children, Tommy, Sylvester, Frankie and my late sister Toni Ann. She was a remarkable woman working out everyday full of spunk and fearless . She died in her sleep as she had wished. It was hard not to like her, she was very eccentric and flamboyant person.

Jackie, as she was known, was indeed a remarkable woman.  She was always into fitness and training.  As a young woman she performed as a trapeze artist!  She was also a nightclub dancer.  Jackie Stallone was the first woman to have a daily exercise and fitness show in Washington, D.C. Later in her career she owned Barbella’s, a gym for women.

Jackie became a popular guest on talk shows where she discussed not only her famous sons but also her astrology books and psychic hotline.  She also became involved with GLOW – the Gorgeous Women of Wrestling!

Jackie Stallone was a powerhouse.  Frank was right in describing her as eccentric, flamboyant, fearless and hard not to like. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jacqueline Stallone’s family, friends and fans.

Quentin Tarantino’s Top 5 Boxing Movies

Boxing Clever at the Boxing Scene recently posted Quentin Tarantino Breaks Down His Top 5 Boxing Movies.  The first one mentioned was Rocky and here is what Tarantino had to say…

“If we talk about boxing and cinema, the first thing that comes to mind is Rocky. By far the most successful boxing film in history. The story of the Italian-American boxer Rocky Balboa was written by and starred Sylvester Stallone, in the role that catapulted him to stardom.

“The history of cinema mixes the necessary ingredients to be liked by most of the public. The humble man who attains fame by pure heart, a love story behind the rise of relevance in a super emotional finale. And some action in a fight worthy of the great boxing evenings in boxing history.

“The film won 3 Oscars and was a huge box office success, as well as being the kickoff for its sequels.”

Tarantino rounded out his top five with Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter, Cinderella Man and Raging BullClick over and check out Tarantino’s thoughts on each film.  (If it was my list I would have found a spot for The Set-up! – Craig)

RIP – Franco Columbu

Franco Columbu died yesterday of an unspecified illness.  He was 78.

Columbu was a boxer, weightlifter, bodybuilding champion, actor and chiropractor.  Franco met Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1960s and they became lifelong friends, with Columbu serving as Arnold’s best man when he married Maria Shriver in 1986.  Columbu is a two-time Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Champion.  He also appeared in Stay Hungry, Pumping Iron, The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, The Running Man, Big Top Pee-wee, as well as other movies and television shows.  In addition, Franco trained many celebrities (including helping Sly Stallone get in shape for Rambo and other films).

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Franco Columbu’s family, friends and fans.

You Don’t Mess with William Afflis!

The gentleman above is William Afflis, but if you grew up anywhere in the midwest from the 1960’s or later, you knew him as Dick the Bruiser.  As you probably guessed (if you didn’t know) Mr. Afflis was a professional wrestler.  Beyond that Afflis was a legitimate tough guy and smart business man.

Brandon Davenport has written an informative profile of The Bruiser that details his early life, his amateur and pro football career, his brawls with coaches, police and the riot he and Alex Karras caused when they got into a bar fight with each other, as well as his Hall of Fame wrestling career from newcomer to owner of the World Wrestling Association.  Even if you’re not a fan of pro wrestling, I think you’ll get a kick out of You Don’t Mess with William Afflis.

Justin Bieber vs Tom Cruise + Conor McGregor vs Mark Wahlberg – Craig’s Thoughts

So Justin Bieber issued a challenge to fight Tom Cruise in a cage match.

Any way you look at this…

If Bieber did it for free publicity…

If Bieber thinks Tom Cruise is a real fighter because of his movies…

If Bieber believes he is a tough guy and wants to prove it by fighting Tom Cruise, an actor who is more than twice as old as Bieber…

…it is just plain stupid.

If Bieber wants to prove he’s a tough guy, then he should challenge someone known for fighting like say, Nate Diaz.  Nate would probably show up at any location for free if Bieber called him out.

How could this get any dumber?


Oh, boy.  I shouldn’t have asked.

So Conor McGregor, the former UFC Champion and now also a sports and entertainment promoter has offered to promote/host the Bieber vs Cruise fight should it ever happen.  If it wasn’t for the fact that McGregor is already known for saying outrageous things and looking for free publicity where he can get it, I’d say he should know better than to get involved in something so stupid.

Well, at least McGregor didn’t go full on stupid and challenge an actor to a cage fight.

Are you kidding me?

So McGregor has upped the ante and challenged actor Mark Walhberg to a cage fight?  For my thoughts on this please refer back above to “Any way you look at this…” and substitute McGregor’s name for Bieber and Wahlberg’s name for Cruise.

I also offer the same suggestion as to an alternate fight — McGregor should challenge Nate Diaz to a cage match.  They’ve already fought twice with each man winning once, so a third time would make sense.

Hey!  I’ve got an idea: How about Bieber and McGregor fight each other?  McGregor could promote it and each of them would get what they want.  Bieber would get a chance to prove he’s a tough guy.  McGregor would get to fight a celebrity.

The reality is of course that Bieber would get knocked out.  McGregor would be ridiculed for taking the fight and hardly anyone would tune in.

You know I started by saying that Bieber challenging Cruise was stupid.  I still think it is, but I will say this, Bieber is sure getting the publicity.   The news of his challenge is blowing up everywhere.  Heck, in all my years of blogging, I’ve never mentioned Bieber even once.  Yet today I’ve devoted a long post to him.

Well played, Justin Bieber.  Well played.