Angry Ward Wednesday: NFL Free Agency, College Basketball Blues, and the Passing of Marvin Hagler

Yes kids, there used to be a sport called boxing.

BRONX, NY – It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Whoop-dee-doo! Erin Go Bragh! Faith and Begorrah! May the road rise to meet you… and all that Irish jazz. With many parades cancelled or gone virtual, today is particularly rough on arsonists (both professional and amateur), as firefighters everywhere are on duty rather than drunkenly marching down Fifth Avenue or Main Street. Hopefully by next year, people will be back to barfing on each other out in public rather than at home and into their masks. OK, enough of this, let’s talk some sports!

The Free Agency Follies! Did everyone follow all the NFL free agent movement yesterday? Wow! Never have so many mediocre players made so much noise. Apparently, the Bears think Andy Dalton is the answer at quarterback. And he IS, if the question is: Name a quarterback that will 100% lose a playoff game for you? My Vikes signed some Dude on the Giants I never paid any attention. But, a couple of Big Blue fan friends tell me he’s pretty good. OK, I guess. Finally, the New England Patriots are throwing money around like Bob Kraft at a rub-n-tug joint. With two new receivers and two new tight ends, Belichick and Co. are spending more money on offensive playmakers than they did during Tom Brady’s entire tenure in NE. Who is gonna get these guys the ball, is an absolute mystery.

RIP, Yaphet Kotto. Must say something quick here about the passing of the great Yaphet Kotto. From Live and Let Die to Alien, Kotto played some truly standout roles. Perhaps his most memorable screen persona was FBI Special Agent Alonzo Mosely in Midnight Run, who stole cigarettes as well as entire scenes.

March Malaise-NESS. After the year we’ve all been through, and what we continue to go through, I know I should absolutely want to get in my usual NCAA March Madness Bracket pool… but I don’t. I’ve got almost zero interest in it. I used to live for these games, at least the first few nights, but with each passing year that excitement has waned. I didn’t watch a single college basketball game this year, so why should I care about it now? Someone please convince me. I know it’s for my own good. Is losing interest in pointless gambling a COVID symptom?

And, finally…

Marvin Hagler. As far as I’m concerned, the passing of boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler this past weekend didn’t get near the coverage it deserved. Hell, hours after it was announced, ESPN still hadn’t posted it on their website! The Worldwide Leader my a$$. Hagler was a central figure during boxing’s absolute heyday. If you were alive in the 70s and 80s, you did NOT want to miss fights featuring heavyweight names like Ali, Frazier, Norton, and Foreman, as well as lower weight class megastars like Hagler, Hearns, Leaonard, and Duran. Hagler had some absolutely epic fights against those guys I just mentioned, as well as other top-flight guys like Vito Antufermo and John “The Beast” Mugabi. No one could wrest the middleweight crown from his rock-solid head until Ray Leonard stole it from him in a controversial 12-round split decision. The year was 1987. There would be no rematch. Hagler was done with boxing and, unlike so many others, never looked back. Hell of a Champ. [*Note: Because everyone has seen the epic Hearns fight, I’m posting this amazing Round 6 from his fight with Mugabi.]

Come back tomorrow for another boxing fan, Buddy Diaz, whose Knicks are showing some fight these days.


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About Angry Ward 742 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for 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 Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.