Pugilist, champion, leader, prophet, husband, father, excellence. Muhammad Ali earned many titles. But only two words adequately define him: The Greatest!!
by Vince Vandal
I’ve been an avid fan of professional wrestling for over 25 years. I caught the tail-end of the Golden Era, into the birth of the amazing spectacle that was the Attitude Era, which led into the era of Ruthless Aggression, and finally… the PG Era. The era where actual wrestling has taken a backseat to “sports entertainment,” whatever that even means anymore. I’m not the type of guy to catch every episode of RAW and Smackdown anymore like when I was growing up, because it just doesn’t have that spark that it used to. I’ll only watch the major events (Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble) and catch highlights if anything of note happens in-between. That being said, I still like to see the culmination of the build-ups from the previous year at the “Grandaddy of Them All” (even though Vince doesn’t let anyone call it that anymore), Wrestlemania, and see how the company is holding up. So here’s my review.
Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems
ESPN made a “Body Issue” based on Marvel superheroes, and it’s glorious. But before we get to that, let’s go through some fascinating history first. The first Body Issue was published in 2009 in response to a significant decline in ESPN magazine’s revenue during the financial crisis. Not only that, because it was also a response for that pesky high-selling publication from their competitor, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. ESPN photographers took shots of athletes — some more famous, others less known — nearly or completely naked, bearing it all with a soccer ball, or a baseball bat, or the snowboard they ride on. Where the Swimsuit Issue focused on homogenous models showcasing bikinis and pandering to the typical standard of Hollywood beauty however, the Body Issue saw an opportunity: ESPN the Magazine would focus on the diversity of the human form by centering on the athletes themselves.
And focusing on diversity proved to be an amazingly successful strategy. Who knew?
Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems
I want you to imagine superheroes exist. Put an image in your head. What they would look like, what they would wear, what their powers would be. Are you there? Did you envision Superman flying, maybe Cyclops’ lasers? Did you imagine Flash’s speed or Oracle’s intelligence? I can’t blame you if you did, because that’s where we go when we envision the “super” in super-powered. But for those that went a little simpler in their criteria, they might’ve imagined a skilled tactician whose powers are superior strength, speed, intelligence, and healing compared to that of the average human, whose government-sanctioned enhancements came from a secret program decades in the past.
Not 1940, but 1984… because LeBron James is Captain America.
The Granddaddy of them all. Wrestlemania.
I’ll start this off by stating how special this year’s ‘Mania was for me, mainly because my favorite wrestler ever, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, had such a huge imprint on the event.
Wrestlemania IV in 1988 took place in Atlantic City, NJ, not even 90 minutes from my childhood home in Philadelphia. We had plans to attend, but tickets were sold out, so the Spectrum — the local basketball stadium — had decided to open the stadium up and broadcast Wrestlemania on the JumboTron for a small fee. I was so excited, I had to go. My mother agreed and took my cousin Howie and me to South Philly for my first Wrestlemania moment. I bought a Macho Man poster, a foam finger, and a program.
We don’t cover sports much here on the NOC, but that’s what our sister site Dat Winning is for! And I’m pleased to share that the site, The Dynasty Project, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop have teamed up to announce the Dat Winning Fellowship that “seeks aspiring Asian American writers with an interest in covering the world of sports.”
The application deadline is December 19. More info after the cut.
Cross-posted at Dat Winning
Over the summer, five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan made waves across the internet when it was revealed that he was going to be immortalized on the cover of a Marvel comic book. Not only were comics fans surprised to have such a legendary sports figure in their midst, NBA fans were surprised that Duncan had a personality! (I kid! I love TD!)
It all started when, during the Spurs’ most recent championship playoff run in May, a reporter tweeted out this photo of Duncan’s knee braces:
Just to get the obvious out of the way: Cung Le is no Bruce Lee. Nobody ever will be. That said, I don’t think anyone else currently walks in the shadow of The Dragon quite like Dragon Eyes. As he trains for his next UFC headlining Fight Night in Macau on August 23 against Michael Bisping, I thought it would be fun to point out some similarities between Lee and Le and why, whether you’re into Mixed Martials Arts (MMA) or not, it will be worth getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch the fight.
As you can see on the blogroll to your left, Dat Winning and The Nerds of Color are going to be companion sites going forward. If you’re unfamiliar, Dat Winning is the internet’s “deceptively quick” Asian American guide to sports. And since we don’t really cover sports here at the NOC, that’s when I’ll pop up over there (and the occasional Joy Dunk Club episode too).
So I figured what better way to contribute to that blog than by intersecting the two things I love the most anyway, namely, the NBA and superhero comics. For my debut on DW, I wanted to talk about the four figures that most informed my growing up: Batman, Superman, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen.