When ESPN debuted Battle of the Gridiron Stars two summers ago, I thought that there was no way it was going to last. I could just see Peyton Manning climbing over the giant wall, falling, and breaking his leg. Then the Colts would sue the pants off of anyone and everyone involved in the production of the show. And that would be the end of it.
What I didn’t expect to see was Dancing With the Stars causing those problems. This week’s “Sign of the Apocalypse” in Sports Illustrated features this little blurb, “Undefeated super middleweight Laila Ali must undergo knee surgery because of the wear and tear of performing on Dancing With the Stars.” Wait…really?
The New York Post has the original story, reporting that Ali will have surgery on both knees. I’m not a fan of the show to begin with, but this situation makes one wonder if athletes will second-guess making an appearance on the show. Imagine if Apolo Anton Ohno’s Olympic bid was put in jeopardy because of an injury sustained on a reality show. Would it bring about an international crisis?
In other boxing news involving the Ali family, George Foreman is pushing his new book which includes the story of how he lost to Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle because of a tainted water bottle. I think one sentence is more than enough space for that, don’t you?
Also, UFC 71 is tonight in Las Vegas. Chuck Liddell and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will square off in the main event. All of the major media outlets seem to be on the UFC bandwagon now that the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight proved that boxing is pretty much dead. Liddell was on the last issue of ESPN the Magazine and UFC is the cover piece for SI. ESPN even added a Mixed Martial Arts section to its website. I find the good fights entertaining, but in the words of movie Herb Brooks, “To me it looks more like two monkeys trying to hump a football.”
I want to know what it was like back when boxing was huge. TNT had the first three Rocky movies on this morning and I was instantly locked in. Where are the modern day Apollo Creeds?
And what boxing round-up wouldn’t be complete without a Mike Tyson update? Look out, he’s allowed to come to a city near you.