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Muhammad Ali, ‘the greatest’, remembered as boxer who transcended sports | Reuters

Despite his failing health, he appeared at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, stilling the tremors in his hands long enough to light the Olympic cauldron. Army and fight in Vietnam, Ali returned in triumph by recapturing the title and starring in some of the sport’s most unforgettable bouts.

Bursting onto the boxing scene in the 1960s with a brashness that threatened many whites, Ali would come to be embraced by Americans of all races for his grace, integrity and disarming sense of humor.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, Frank McGurty in New York, Alex Dobuzinskis and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Bill Trott and Frank McGurty; Editing by Alison Williams, Leslie Adler and Paul Tait)

Despite Ali’s failing health, his youthful proclamation that he was “the greatest” rang true until the end for millions of people around the world who respected him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.

“I think when you talk about Muhammad Ali, as great an athlete, as great a boxer as he was, he was the greatest boxer of all time, he means so much more to the United States and the world,” said Ali’s long-time friend, boxing promoter Bob Arum.

Nearby, hundreds more gazed at projections of phrases and images most associated with Ali, such as “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

From Africa to East Asia to the U.S. who stood up for his beliefs … God is the greatest.”

By Ricardo Arduengo

| SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.

“LOUISVILLE LIP”

“His fight outside the ring would cost him his title and his public standing. “The Louisville Lip,” as he was called early in his career, loved to talk – especially about himself.

Ali’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s came about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981. And his victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today.”

In Kinshasa, the city where he battled George Foreman in the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” – a city that was then part of Zaire and is now the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo – the fight is remembered as much for its political symbolism as for Ali’s tactical brilliance in beating his hulking opponent.

“He’ll be remembered as a man of the world who spoke his mind and wasn’t afraid to take a chance and went out of his way to be a kind, benevolent individual that really changed the world,” the family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, said at a news conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

But his taunts could be brutal.

Stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.

Flags were flown at half staff in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ali’s modest childhood home on Grand Avenue has been turned into a museum. To put him as a boxer is an injustice.”

“We lost a giant today. “And he stood by that.”

Manny Pacquiao, a boxer and politician in the Philippines, where Ali fought Joe Frazier for a third time in a brutal 1975 match dubbed the “Thrilla in Manila,” paid homage to Ali’s legacy outside the ring.

Ali “was an African. But Ali became much more than a sportsman. He spoke boldly against racism in the ’60s as well as against the Vietnam War.

Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. The death of Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, triggered a worldwide outpouring of affection and admiration for one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

President Barack Obama, the first African-American to reach the White House, said Ali was “a man who fought for us” and placed him in the pantheon of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela.

“In the end, he went from being reviled to being revered,” civil rights leader the Rev. Boxing benefited from Muhammad Ali’s talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity,” he said. He also dubbed Frazier a “gorilla,” but later apologized.

Few could argue with his athletic prowess at his peak in the 1960s, with his dancing feet and quick fists. “But Ali stood his ground.

Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond.

In New York’s Harlem district, fans gathered outside the famous Apollo Theater, where a marquee paying tribute to Ali read: “The greatest of all time. South, news of Ali’s death brought tributes across the world of sport, entertainment and politics.

The cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spokesman said on Saturday.

“Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far,” he once told a reporter.

Ali’s daughter Maryum said on Saturday: “I am happy my father no longer struggles. A funeral will be held in his hometown on Friday. He is in a better place. Jesse Jackson told CNN on Saturday. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. It would earn him enemies on the left and the right, make him reviled, and nearly send him to jail,” Obama said in a statement. “And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people.

Pam Dorrough, a tourist in New York’s Times Square, admired Ali’s refusal to apologize for what he believed.

Foreman said Ali was one of the greatest human beings he had met. “Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head,” he once said about his arch rival. 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, a name shared with a 19th century slavery abolitionist. He was a Congolese,” David Madiawi, a salesman on Kinshasa’s Avenue de Commerce, said on Saturday. “No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age. 1942-2016.”

“He was a transformative figure in our society.”

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died on Friday at age 74. He changed his name after his conversion to Islam.

“The confidence – and I know everybody thought it was an arrogance about him – he always projected a confidence,” she said. “He came to Congo to return to the land of his ancestors.”

Ali is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child in Louisville, along with his nine children.

TRIBUTES POUR IN

Ali met scores of world leaders, during and after his championship reign, and for a time he was considered the most recognizable person on earth, known even in remote villages in countries far from the United States.

In the brutal world of prize fighting, Ali set himself apart with his wit and fondness for playful verse. Ali was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital, HonorHealth, with a respiratory ailment on Monday..

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Ali said: “As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him ..


Posted by admin on August 27th, 2016 :: Filed under sports book,the sports book

How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

Why the Line Changes

Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action.

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite.

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. . Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

How the Opening Line Is Made

RJ Bell

©Pregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. Reasons for such adjustments include:

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks.

Contributed by:

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach.

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said.

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor)


Posted by admin on August 26th, 2016 :: Filed under sports book,the sports book

The Top 25 Baseball Books for Your Desert Island

The prose is rapturous, the drama intense, and I was delighted and moved in equal measure.

24. Thorn follows the game’s movement from the countryside into the larger eastern cities, and describes how the game was different in each place. Fleming

The other book here about 1908. The End of Baseball, by Peter Schilling Jr.

I read very, very few baseball novels, and did like Shoeless Joe in a Twlight Zoney way, but this book knocked me out.

4. To be honest, if you want a baseball book to keep in your bathroom for those long idle moments, nothing beats this.

23. Conlon, the finest baseball portrait photographer ever, took scores of pictures of many of the game’s greats and not-as-greats in the first four decades of the 1900s, and these collections from his original black-and-white plates are incomparable. October 1964, by David Halberstam

Halberstam wrote many wonderful books about sports, but this one is probably my favorite. Aside from creating superb prose, Angell’s gift is his insistence on shunning press boxes to wander stadiums, sit with fans, and approach baseball from original angles. Angell began writing baseball articles for The New Yorker back in 1962, and these two unforgettable collections feature his best pieces through 1976. His follow-up, Pennant Race, covering the year he spent with the 1961 NL pennant-winning Reds, is also a joy.

10. What a bio. James balances decade-by-decade facts with funny and often exhaustively researched essays, and tops it off with lists of the best players at each position and why. His first such blog, “1924 and You Are There!” has just been published by Grassy Gutter Press and is available on Amazon.

Baseball lends itself to book form so effortlessly because day and in and year out, the game wears fantastic drama on its sleeve. Conlon is most famous for his ground-level action shot of Ty Cobb sliding into third, but his photos of a greenhorn Ted Williams, menacing ’27 Yankees Murderers Row, and a Vermeer-like Honus Wagner simply take your breath away.

Anyway, I thought this spring would be a fine time to take stock of my home archive and pluck out the top 25 baseball volumes I would like to have in a steamer trunk if my cruise ship to the Caribbean World Series ever runs into a hurricane and dumps me on a very remote, satellite-dish-free atoll.

22. Hano’s description of this play literally lasts pages, and his game account is interspersed with amusing conversations with the fans and vendors around him. The Long Season, by Jim Brosnan

The first of the frank, player-written accounts, and probably the book that made Ball Four possible over a decade later. Fast-paced action thriller? Any book on the 1967 American League race will do.. Thorn’s chief theory is that Abner Doubleday’s “invention” of the game is complete bunk, but there is so much more to relish in here. The multi-talented DiMaggio was certainly not the most sociable or liked ballplayer, but Cramer’s writing is so visual and poetic, particularly his long descriptions of the 1930s San Francisco the DiMaggio boys grew up and thrived in, that it carries you along for the heroic ride. The definition of tour de force.

20-19. Cataneo recorded interviews with 45 fans, grouped the stories by their age, then attached splendid titles to each chapter. Witty and insightful from beginning to end, this one is not to be missed.

8. Published in the pre-Nomo and Ichiro year of 1989, it offers a rare glimpse of besuboru and includes great stories about many of the U.S. Baseball’s Golden Age and The Big Show: Photographs by Charles M. On a side note, John Sayles’ film adaptation of this book is still my favorite baseball movie.

14-13. Crazy ’08 by Cait Murphy

Two volumes about the same 1908 season made the list, and this one includes all the drama of the less-reported but equally contentious American League race, won by the Tigers. Boyd and Harris’ paperback, published in ’73, is undoubtedly one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, featuring page after page of hilarious capsule descriptions of terrible-looking baseball cards from the ’50s and early ’60s. Cobb: A Biography, by Al Stump

What an opening chapter. Keri’s book on the breakout success of the Tampa Bay Rays is equally compelling, funnier, and has already made me pine for his upcoming history of the Montreal Expos.

25. (“Despite all apparent evidence to the contrary, there has never been, nor could there ever be, a major league ballplayer named Clyde Kluttz.”) Wilker’s celebrated recent tome is a different kind of jewel, taking the Boyd and Harris blueprint and crafting it as his own, a touching personal memoir about growing up in small-town Vermont, told through his massive collection of mostly ’70s baseball cards. Open it anywhere and spend fifteen minutes and you’re guaranteed to learn something about the game that never crossed your mind. In “Three for the Tigers” he profiled the days and nights of three close Detroit fans as they rooted for their team. The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading, and Bubble Gum Book, by Brendan C. The entire book is a first-person account of the first game of the 1954 Series, the Indians at the Polo Grounds against his beloved Giants. Boyd and Fred Harris; Cardboard Gods, by Josh Wilker

Two little masterpieces on a theme, and the books couldn’t be any more different. Starting in the California League and heading east and back again, it is a baseball version of Travels with Charley, and wonderful read from start to finish. Babe: The Legend Comes to Life, by Robert Creamer

The best book on the Bambino, partly because Ruth’s real story is so chock full of great drama, but also because Creamer is a superb, honest documentarian. Whether in a backyard hammock, in front of a roaring fire, or yes, on your uncharted beach, this book tops my list.

3-2. Pitcher Brosnan started the 1958 season on the Cubs, got traded to the Cards, and pretty much talks about the big leagues like they are, minus the bad language. Stolen Season, by David Lamb

The author, an L.A. Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life, by Richard Ben Cramer

Cramer, winner of a Pulitzer for his political book What It Takes, also gets my vote for the best baseball bio of all time. Impeccably researched with fabulous black-and-white photography throughout, Stout and Johnson pull no punches.

5. In the mood for a sprawling Russian novel? Let’s go with a history of the Cubs. Moneyball found a way to introduce the masses to the world of baseball metrics by wonderfully dramatizing it without needing Billy Beane’s daughter to sing songs for us. This one merely covers the National League race, but what makes it amazing is that Fleming tells the story by compiling and re-printing actual newspaper accounts of the games from New York, Chicago and Pittsburgh newspapers. The Historical Baseball Abstract, by Bill James

James’ groundbreaking statistical analysis and irreverent, entertaining essays may or may not earn him a deserved spot in the Hall of Fame some day, but we’ll thankfully always have this fat classic volume — both the original and revised versions — to marvel at.

6.

21. About such a jerk. Editor Steve Goldman expertly weaves a tapestry of Baseball Prospectus contributors into a smart blueprint for organizational success.

7. The reserve clause also had its “secret history” and was essentially a vehicle to help capitalists and gambling men. Schilling takes a kernel of a rumor — that baseball maverick Bill Veeck was thinking of buying a team before World War II and stocking it with Negro League players — and creates a gorgeously written what-if tale set after the war, with Veeck doing that very thing with the Philadelphia Phillies. All are priceless. Stout’s recent book about the building of Fenway Park is also wonderful, and certainly the best account of the 1912 season and World Series win over the Giants I’ve ever read.

12. Also liked Creamer’s lesser-known Summer of ’41, but Babe stands taller on repeated readings.

9. Conlon

Either one of these coffee table volumes will transport you effortlessly into the past. Eight Men Out, by Eliot Asinof

The first time I read this I knew next to nothing about the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Baseball reporters wrote very differently back then, and the flowery game descriptions are remarkable to read. My favorite moments are his arguments that the 1961 Yankees are one of the most overrated teams in history, and that Craig Biggio is one of the best second basemen of all time. The most amazing thing about Cataneo’s book is how little known it is. Ty Cobb’s career and life were a treasure trove of menacing nuggets, and no account captures them better than Stump’s. Some blurbs are long paragraphs, some are one sentence. While his earlier Summer of ’49 did a bang-up job documenting the Yankee/Red Sox war of that year, this one takes on bigger themes of race and change in American society and delivers it all in a beautiful package, with the thrilling ’64 National League race and World Series won by the Cards as the perfect backdrop. From Cobb’s father being accidentally shot and killed by his mother, to Cobb jumping into the stands to pound on a crippled, heckling fan, to hardly anyone showing up for his funeral, the book is the baseball bio equivalent of Raging Bull.

15. Hano sat in the bleachers in deep left center field, giving him a perfect view of a guy in center named Willie Mays making the most famous catch in postseason history. Hornsby Hit One Over My Head, by David Cataneo

This oral history of baseball is like none you’ve ever read.

In countdown order, then:

16. The Unforgettable Season, by G. In “Taverns in the Town” he watched all four games of the 1963 Dodgers-Yankees World Series in four different New York saloons. Murphy, a graduate of Amherst College and editor at Fortune Magazine, is a fine writer and researcher, and pulls off the neat trick of telling most of the story in the present tense to give it a refreshing immediacy.

1. A Day in the Bleachers, by Arnold Hano

And guess who inspired Roger Angell? Yup, magazine writer Arnold Hano, who created this absolute work of art in 1955. Times reporter in the early ’90s when it was still a good newspaper, took a year off to travel around the country in his RV, visiting minor league parks and writing about the teams, players and fans. Johnson; Fenway 1912 by Glenn Stout

Yeah OK, I’m a Sawx fan, but of all the books I’ve read about the team, this coffee table chronicle of their complete history is like James Joyce by comparison. Red Sox Century, by Glenn Stout and Richard A. The effect is magical. The Summer Game and Five Seasons, by Roger Angell

The master — at his best. Very tough to find now, but well worth searching for.

Jeff Polman writes fictionalized baseball replay blogs, his current endeavor being Mystery Ball ’58. Asinof tells the story in novel form, and it’s both suspenseful and ultimately heartbreaking. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis; The Extra 2%, by Jonah Keri

I really liked the movie version of Lewis’ classic, but reading about those A’s teams was a far more pleasurable experience. You Gotta Have Wa, by Robert Whiting

A funny, fascinating first-hand account of Japanese baseball — its history and culture — from a Japan-based American journalist. His essay on the tragic, inexplicable pitching career of the Pirates’ Steve Blass following the 1971 championship is still probably the most moving baseball article I’ve ever read.

11. Mind Game, by the Baseball Prospectus staff

Of the dozens of books published on the 2004 champion Red Sox, nothing was more insightful than this, a statistically advanced and very readable breakdown of how Boston was able to pull off what they did. players and teams that competed there.

18-17. Like it does in Angell’s best work, the game slows down for Hano and reshapes itself into an entity you feel you can climb into. Starting with a 94-year-old ex-cab driver who saw Babe Ruth play for the Red Sox and ending with a 17-year old Kansas student who still glowed from seeing his Royals win it all when he was eight, the book gives us a rich and extremely original perspective of the game. Their frank essays on Tom Yawkey’s cronyism and the franchise’s self-destructive racism in the ’50s and early ’60s is eye-opening. Baseball in the Garden of Eden, by John Thorn

MLB’s official historian released this incredible, revolutionary account of the true origins of the game last year, and it’s already a classic. Mickey Cochrane is hired to manage, and a calvacade of black stars are collected to play in the National League, even Josh Gibson with girlfriend in tow. H


Posted by admin on August 25th, 2016 :: Filed under sports book,the sports book