Boxing

1:36am

Wed May 28, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Referee Mendy Rudolph officiates a Knicks-Pistons game in 1971. Refs often say it's best to go unnoticed, but an official who "makes a call with vigor and elan is really a beautiful part of the game," says Frank Deford.
AP

Not so long ago, while enjoying a libation in a decorous saloon, the proprietor — who happened to hail from the fabled Windy City — suddenly jarred the genteel assembled by turning on the Cubs game. Just at that moment, a Cubby was heading toward the plate when the throw came in, and the runner (spoiler alert!), being a Cub, was tagged out.

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5:22am

Thu May 9, 2013
Arts & Life

Former Heavyweight Champ Wants To Try Shakespeare

Mike Tyson tells the New York Daily News he would like to play Othello. Reviews of his acting have been mixed, but Tyson says he could do it, given time to prepare. "They say my skills are horrible," he says, "but I have the natural timing."

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2:50pm

Tue March 5, 2013
NPR Story

Posthumous Pardon For Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson A Bipartisan Effort

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some members of Congress have put aside partisan sparring in defense of a legendary fighter. Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Harry Reid are among those calling for a posthumous pardon for the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson became the first black man to win that title back in 1908. His next win in 1910 sparked race riots and his relationships with white women added to the controversy.

Here's actor Samuel L. Jackson as Johnson in the 2005 Ken Burns documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness."

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3:14am

Wed November 28, 2012
World

Afghan Women Make Their Mark On The Soccer Field

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:05 am

Former U.S. Olympian Lorrie Fair hugs Zahra Mahmoudi, the captain of the Afghan women's soccer team.
Sean Carberry NPR

Afghanistan first established a national women's soccer team just five years ago, and while they aren't yet World Cup material, they are making strides.

Last week, they got a little help from former U.S. Olympic soccer player Lorrie Fair, who staged a clinic in Kabul that was set up by the State Department.

Clad in her blue U.S. national team sweatsuit, Fair led the Afghan women through a series of exercises on the tennis court at the U.S. Embassy.

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1:00am

Fri November 23, 2012
Author Interviews

'Unorthodox' Book Of 'Jewish Jocks' Puts Stereotypes Aside

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

American lightweight Benny Leonard, pictured in 1925, is remembered as one of boxing's greatest.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

There have been a number of books about great Jewish athletes, starring legendary baseball players like Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, the "Hebrew Hammer." But a new book doesn't focus only on Jewish players — it looks at the myriad ways Jews have contributed to the American athletic landscape. Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame is a collection of essays compiled and edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy of The New Republic magazine.

Foer and Tracy join NPR's Linda Wertheimer to discuss the rise of Jews in big-league sports.

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