Angry Ward Wednesday: Manila, Morganna, Miracle on Ice and other Unrealized Sports Goals

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BRONX, NY – There’s no denying it anymore, I’m getting old. Been around long enough to have watched black and white TV, used a rotary telephone, tapped away on both manual and electric typewriters, and pleasured myself to photos in a magazine. That’s downright decrepit in a lot of books… hell, in any book. As far as life accomplishments go, I really can’t complain. Done a bunch, seen a bunch, great family, great friends, etc. Same goes for sports. Though I’m far from an athlete, I at least tried just about everything. Didn’t win any big awards, accolades or scholarships but did bowl over 200 blind drunk and ran 2 marathons, though that’s more stunt than athletic accomplishment. So, if I had my druthers, what are some things I wish were on my personal sports résumé?

Thrilla in Manila. I saw a couple of heavyweight fights live, but I never witnessed a truly great one firsthand. I’d probably pick the famed “Thrilla in Manila” even though my guy, Joe Frazier, lost. But I’d gladly take any number of other memorable slug-fests of 70s and early 80s. Ali, Frazier, Ken Norton, George Foreman… man, all of those guys could fight.

Getting a Kiss from Morganna. Those of you too young to remember, getting smooched by Morganna the Kissing Bandit was the surest indicator you had “arrived” in the world of sports. Cal Ripken Jr., Charles Barkley and many others were on the receiving end of Morganna’s… er… charms. Only drawback is she once kissed Pete Rose, so God knows what anti-virals you might need afterwards. But still…

Miracle on Ice. If I had to pick one sporting event I wish I could say I had been at, I think it would have to be this. There will never be anything like it again.

Vikings Winning a Super Bowl. What was my “Goal” in my high school yearbook? “To see the Vikings win a Super Bowl in my lifetime.” Sadly, I’m still chasing it, but with much less enthusiasm than when I was 18. As former MTM contributor Grote2DMax said to me as the Vikes lost yet another NFC Championship this past January, “This is team and that goal may just be what will keep you alive for many years to come. You may be that 100-year-old guy they roll out when they finally DO accomplish it.” I’m not holding my breath.

Sailing. Okay, maybe it’s not technically a sport, unless you’re participating in the America’s Cup or a 1980s film where you just HAVE to win some stupid regatta to save your summer, but the idea of kicking back on the open water on a really nice boat is something that really appeals to me. It’s not too late to find a friend who has a friend who has a boat, is it? Cue the Christopher Cross.

No Hitter. I have never seen a no-hitter live. Do you have any idea how many baseball games I’ve been to in my life? This is ludicrous.

See a Wimbledon Final. While it’s not high on my list, it seems like it would be cool to do.

Own a Piece of a Racehorse. This one seems almost doable. Sure, it probably wouldn’t be a Kentucky Derby winner, but I’d definitely go in as partners with guys like Sam’s a Fan, West Coast Craig and others from around these parts. If Paulie can own a horse in the Pope of Greenwich Village, why not me?

There’s other stuff, for sure, but this will hold me for now. I don’t want to seem greedy and ruin all the charity work I’ve put in here over the years. Speaking of which, come back tomorrow for recent birthday boy, Buddy Diaz, who is no charity case.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.

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