Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Sweet Science Loses Emanuel

I've been a fan of boxing longer than I can remember. There just isn't a memory of mine not linked to appreciating the Sweet Science, but my recollection of bottle feedings are admittedly dim so who knows. Back in the late 50's/early 60's, my friend John and I would sneak into the old armory and watch club fights. Chance would have it that one of the ushers was a parishioner of our elementary school/church, and whenever the front rows would thin out he'd let us move down to ringside. He even taught us the old trick of bringing along the biggest paper bags we could find, then cutting eye holes before draping them over our heads. It was messy, very, very messy that close to the action, and going home with blood spattered shirts, hair and faces would mean the end of life as we knew it a nanosecond after our moms saw the carnage.

Emanuel Steward died last Thursday, October 25th to be precise, and I'll miss his contributions to HBO boxing.

Not the swiftest of repartee swappers, I often felt like he was a man not accustomed to split second chatter, and this, in my mind, led to his seeming to be, at times, clueless about the goings on right before his very eyes.

But he wasn't dumb, or slow. Just thoughtful, and thoughtful doesn't mesh all that well with television.

“One day I may be doing a broadcast and living in big hotels in New York and Las Vegas, and the limousine is picking me up, and I get involved in so many multi-million dollar situations. And then, when I get back to the gym the next day and take off those tuxedos, it keeps me connected with reality, that everybody isn’t living the big life. And when I go down to that little basement at Kronk, that’s where I’m the happiest, because I see all the little kids and the people who are older in life who have fallen through the cracks and are less fortunate and they’re there and they’re just happy to see me.”

–Emanuel Steward (July 7, 1944 – October 25, 2012)


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Fits said...

Well said.