TOP OF THE TOWN –The story of Rex Chapman is must read. It’s the story of a boy from Kentucky who became a high school superstar as a basketball phenom, carried that on to the University Kentucky and 12 years in the NBA and then a deep fall into drug addiction and to sleeping in his car and now a bounce back to a social media hit with his blog, “Block or Charge.” Just goggle Chapman and his story will be found. I found it fascinating because it shows how easy one can go from the castle to the outhouse. Sometimes the fall is the result of just a simple thing. In Chapman’s case it was innocently taking a couple pain pills after surgery and, man, he went quickly into addiction… Media outlets have scrambled to fill the gap from losing live sports action, and one of the scrambles is running a bracket on the best players in college basketball history, with advancement based on public voting. ESPN’s bracket is getting down to the end and I can tell that Michael Jordan is going to win it. I don’t like these things because as I have repeatedly written I don’t believe you can compare great players from different eras and get a result that is satisfactory. For example, I like Wilt Chamberlain as the greatest of all time, but the game is so much different now and a big guy like Wilt would have a tough time. But during the era he played, he was awesome. Another guy who was great in college was Tom Stith. I bet you don’t even know who he was. Look him up. Stith, who died some years ago, was one of the best I have seen in college. Elgin Baylor was another. And the Big O, Oscar Robertson, was unbelievable. But those three played in a different time when the game was so much different and you can’t compare them to today’s players or the game. Years ago somebody did a computer matchup of the greatest boxers in history and Jack Dempsey won over Muhammad Ali. Man, I don’t know about that. The computer must have blown a fuse. Dempsey was a prodder and Ali floated about like a butterfly. Ali was bigger, quicker and probably stronger. Dempsey was a mean and tough guy who fought during a time when there were barely any rules in the boxing ring. You had to be tougher than tough to survive in the ring in his days, and he survived quite nicely. There is no way, though, you can compare them and get a satisfactory answer. Different eras, different rules, and you just can’t get an answer of a winner this way. Computer be damned. Besides, I like Rocky Marciano. Or Jack Johnson. Or Sam Langford. Or Joe Louis. Or Sugar Ray Robinson Or …. You get the point. I do wonder how a matchup of Floyd Mayweather and Ali would have gone. Yeah, they are different weight classes, but so were Billy Conn and Louis and Conn nearly won their first fight in June of 1941. Conn danced in circles around Louis for most of the fight and had quick hands. He continued to nail Louis with lunging left hooks and in the 11th and 12th rounds had Louis in trouble. Louis barely hung on in the 12th and Conn admitted he came out in the 13th and decided to go for the knockout. Instead of dancing around, he stood in front of Louis and that was a big mistake. Half-way through the round Louis hurt Conn with a left hook and moved in for the kill. He battered away and a final right drove Conn to the canvas where he was counted out.  In the rematch, Louis knocked Conn out in the eighth round … Ok, enough of this. I’m outta here.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there

Have a great day.

You are loved.