[joe-frank-list] 'The 80-yard run'
russellbell at gmail.com
russellbell at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 08:48:46 PST 2021
Joe tells stories of boxing in the early '60s. He begins by
describing the notorious Emile Griffith - Benny Paret match (1962
March 24). His account is factually wrong. He must have known the
facts. I propose he chose to make it more dramatic. You can read my
detailed explanation at
The differences don't violate the essence of the story.
He moves on to bouts between Griffith and Luis Rodriguez (Joe
says they fought 3 times; it was 4.), Griffith and Ruben 'Hurricane'
Carter (the guy in the Bob Dylan song), culminating with Rodriguez's
upset victory over Carter. I haven't read accounts of those fights
but Joe got the winners right.
24:10: 'Hydra' (Grover Washington Jr)
25:20: Joe talks about bullfighting.
27: Joe tells of the first great bullfighter to admit fear,
'El Gallo' (a nickname) Rafael Gómez y Ortega. The brief article in
Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_G%C3%B3mez_Ortega ,
says that it needs additional citations for verification. It is so
much like Joe's account I don't trust it. A duckduckgo search turned
up nothing; a Google search turned up
which has a brief description of him; 2 other links copy this (I don't
know which is the original.) Joe's account is consistent with this
article; I suspect they didn't get anything from Joe. If someone
knows more about bullfighting or an expert to consult I'd love to hear
about it. In his next show, 'Arena', he mentions waiting for a book
about another bullfighter.
31:30: Joe recurs to his 80-yard run; he's off to the
University of Iowa for grad school at the Program in Creative Writing
(nicknamed Iowa Writers' Workshop). He says the director when he was
there was Paul Engle. Engle was the second director of the program,
the one who promoted it to fame. He left this post in 1965. (Engle
grew up in the Wellington Heights neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, where
I lived when I lived there, much later.) Joe says Engle dubbed Iowa
City 'the Athens of the Midwest'. I can't find this citation, though
others have made it and credited Engle for having made it that. Just
about every Midwest town with a large university (Ann Arbor, Columbia
MO, Madison WI) has claimed this title. (I've been: it's okay;
haven't been to Athens - hope it's better.) (I e-mailed the workshop;
they only keep records of alumni; Joe didn't graduate.)
33:20: Joe says Iowans love football (wasn't the case when I
lived there, but their teams were weaker then.) He says their team
was rated #1. The last year this happened was 1960, when Joe was 22.
Joe says that Forest Evashevski was the coach; 1960 was his last year
as coach. (He went on to become the athletic director until 1970.)
34: Joe tells of the mounting excitement before a football
39:10: Joe tells of the festivities after a major football
game. Joe attends a showing of old silent comedies at the university
auditorium. It's crowded. A woman behind him presses against him.
He gets excited. Because of the darkness and the crush he doesn't
find out who she is.
46:20: Joe joins a late-night football game played by
intoxicated people with a pair of socks rolled up into a ball in a
pasture. There were no boundaries so you could run as far sideways as
you wanted. Joe gets the ball, outruns and fends off all defenders,
makes the eponymous run, but bulls keeps him from scoring.
Music: 'Hydra', Grover Washington Jr
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