this is a great read. oral histories are impossible for me to resist. in this instance, it marks a time when — of all things — boxing was the closest thing to common ground my father and i had. we watched boxing on HBO and Showtime every month. we watched mike tyson fight once every 30 days back then. it was a thing.
i remember this fight. not like it was yesterday, but i remember it well. reading this piece brought a lot back. and yep, i’ll be damned if i’m not still angry at its outcome. marvin won that fight. hands down, he won it.
i don’t follow the sport anymore, but it’ll always have a spot in my personal history. now i’m old enough to be one of those guys who talk boxing with romance. how it was a sport, a real game. despite all the violence, there was something gentlemanly about it. i can’t figure out if it’s hypocrisy or the fog of time that i find nothing redeeming about MMA. maybe it’s the gloves, maybe it’s the personalities, and maybe it’s just that boxing seems more like fishing with a worm and MMA is like fishing with dynamite.
bill simmons lost me years ago, but grantland is really turning into a pretty terrific site.
I submitted a guest op-ed to the Star Tribune last week after reading Gail Rosenblum’s column in which she defended the Senser family’s legal stonewalling. The Star Tribune never responded to my submission, so I am publishing it here in my blog.
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Anousone “Ped” Phanthavong was a dear friend and valued coworker of mine. We opened our restaurant, True Thai, in 2002, and Ped was the only person still working for us who was on our original staff. The State Troopers woke me at 3:45 a.m. because I was the pre-registered owner of Ped’s car. My partner slept through the Troopers knocking on our door, but awoke immediately upon hearing my cries of anguish at hearing that Ped had been killed.
The next day I saw the place where Ped had pulled his car off the ramp and onto the grass. I saw bloodstains from his body being dragged forty feet by the Mercedes SUV that hit him. Later I talked to the partner of one of our hostesses who had taken that exit shortly after Ped was killed. His shoes and pants had been ripped off by the pavement as he was dragged up the ramp, leaving him clad only in his white t-shirt and underwear on the pavement where he was left for dead, only three-quarters of a block from Riverside Hospital’s Emergency Room.
"Silly me. I thought flying on 9/11 would be easy. I figured most people would choose not to fly that day so lines would be short, planes would be lightly filled and though security might be ratcheted up, we’d all feel safer knowing we had come a long way since that dreadful Tuesday morning 10 years ago.
But then armed officers stormed my plane, threw me in handcuffs and locked me up.”