Tuesday, June 11, 2002

ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION from Mike Tyson? I'm not entirely sure, but here's the deal: After Iron Mike's "I'm here for my beating, sir" performance against Lennox Lewis, the victor's trainer, Detroit legend Emanuel Steward, told Tyson how he's still a big fan and did a tiny bit of reminiscing:

"Remember Roderick Moore?" Steward asked.

During our brief boxing careers in Detroit in the mid-1970s, my brother Terence and I trained at the Crowell Recreation Center in Detroit. It wasn't quite the Kronk Gym, where Steward was training Tommy Hearns and other notables. It didn't even have punching bags. We got to punch hanging mats, when we weren't punching each other.

Terence and I trained mainly with two other kids: David Stubbs (beating me in photo above) and Roderick Moore.

Google searches tell me that a Roderick Moore won the 1983 national Golden Gloves title in the 139-and-under weight class, that he fought out of the Kronk Gym, and that he was a truck driver when the Detroit News did a "Where are they now?" story on Kronk alumni in February 2001. I don't know what Roderick might have had to do with Mike Tyson, or even if the Golden Gloves champ and Steward protege was the same Roderick Moore that I (but mostly Terence) sparred against, but I think it's a safe bet that little Roderick grew up a bit and moved from Crowell to Kronk.

Or would that be two degrees of separation?

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

I'M JUST GOING TO bitch about traffic-related matters again.

1. New York cabdrivers? Fast. Very fast. There's an amusement-park quality to the experience of riding in a taxi in Manhattan. This tendency makes sense: They get paid by distance. Somehow, they manage to slow down enough to pick up passengers. D.C. cabdrivers? Slow. Very slow. I can understand slowing down to troll for passengers in pedestrian-heavy downtown, but taxi drivers in Washington don't seem to employ that kind of logic. The cab can be full and the street can be a highway, but the cabbie still goes 20 mph.

2. I'm all for jaywalking. If you can make it across midblock or against the light, go for it. But could you at least pretend to be concerned for your own safety when you put yourself in the path of a motor vehicle? The prissy little "I'll take my own sweet time, and the drivers will just have to wait" show of power by the otherwise powerless pedestrian got old the first time I saw it, and I've seen it a lot. One of these days . . .

3. You see that "yield" sign you just drove through? That means I get to go and you have to sit there until the traffic clears. If I'm a nice guy -- and I am -- I might let you in, but this cutting in front of me has to stop. It's not always possible, but drivers -- and pedestrians (see above) -- would be well advised to act as if they're invisible. It's when you make others take evasive action that the trouble starts.

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