8 P.M. (ESPN) THE REAL ROCKY
In 1975 Chuck Wepner, the 6-foot-5 boxer known as the Bayonne Bleeder for his New Jersey hometown and for the pummeling he sustained at the fists of Sonny Liston, went up against Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title and a potential purse of $100,000. (Ali would win $1.5 million.) Wepner knocked Ali down in the ninth round, stunning the crowd; in the remaining rounds Ali opened cuts above Wepner’s eyes, broke his nose and, with 19 seconds remaining in the 15th round, knocked him down, winning the bout. Watching it all was a young Sylvester Stallone, who was inspired to write the script for, and eventually star in, “Rocky” (1976), which won three Academy Awards, including best picture. Jeff Feuerzeig (“The Devil and Daniel Johnston”) chronicles the life and times of Wepner, now a liquor salesman who drives a Cadillac with vanity plates that read “Champ.”
The Village Voice’s Allen Barra spoke with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns at the George Steinbrener monument unveiling last week:
Barra: Are you here, we asked Burns, because you’re an admirer of The Boss?
Burns: Oh, puh-leese, [Burns shot back.] Springsteen is The Boss. Steinbrenner was Darth Vader.
Barra: But what about his transformation of the Yankees from a second-division, second-rate organization to a world champion, multibillion-dollar corporation.
Burns: Give me a break. Steinbrenner is the guy who woke up at third base and thought he hit a triple. It’s amazing how all this guy’s sleaze is suddenly forgotten. Who else would have hired a shady gambler [Howie Spira, pictured above] to follow one of his players around just to get dirt on them? (As Steinbrenner did to Dave Winfield.)
Barra added: Well, I wanted to reply, how about previous Yankee owners who hired private detectives to follow Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin around — but I let that one pass.
Continue reading… TheVillageVoice
h/t CantStopTheBleeding for the link and the Spira pic
Tonight at 10pm, the CBC News Network (Canada) is airing Tiger Woods: Rise and Fall. A documentary showing inside the Tiger Woods sex scandal with unprecedented access to key players: the girls, the ‘Tiger Team’ insiders, and the people who brought him down.
Apparently the documentary informs us that…
What Earl [Woods] and others concocted was essentially a “golf machine” but also that “they had put a glitch in the Tiger machine, an infidelity chip.”…The glitch in the machine is the sense of entitlement, the remoteness from ordinary experience and an awesome arrogance. - GlobeandMail.com
Sounds like a far-fetched sci-fi flick to us.