SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - July 23, 2019 - 12:00am

The number one hundred is no stranger to me. Mention one hundred and the 100 meter sprints come to my mind.  Mention 100K, and I’m sure you’re talking of the 100-kilometer ultramarathon.  You can even wake me up if you shout 100 bucks.

Last Friday, I was at the stae-of-the-art ampitheatre of the University of the Visayas to receive my recognition as a long-time sports columnist of the Freeman, during the paper’s Centennial celebration. Yes folks, the Freeman is 100 years old. I’m probably the oldest sportswriter in Cebu, writing my first column in 1988, that’s 31 years and running.

The late Glen Basubas, then sports editor, asked me to contribute sports stories until he persuaded me to write a regular weekly column, thus the birth of Sports Eye. Nimrod Quiñones took over when Glen went to the Great Beyond and later on, Manny Villaruel who joined the Freeman when he was only 17 years old.

Manny, pounds later, is currently the sports editor assisted by martial arts disciple Lemuel Maglinte. My award reads, “TF salutes valued columnist,” well, all I can say is I also salute the men behind the Freeman especially Sir Dodong Gullas, president Migs Belmonte, vice chairman Johnvic Gullas,GMB hoy Mendoza and editor-in-chief Archie Modequillo. By the way, Manny received an award for his 20 years of service.  Here’s looking forward to the Freeman’s next 100 years.  Cheers!

“Dili pa gurang”

Everytime Manny Pacquiao has a fight, it has been a tradition that we watch the bout at Jing Jing Rama’s place. Well, I would say we are more comfortable at the music room with fantastic sounds from state-of-the art speakers than the jampacked MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  “Walay kaon sa Las Vegas but at JingJing’s, naay lechon ug beer”. As usual my breakfast buddies were there, Ted Cavan, Sam Padonilla and Chol oOrbeta. Of course the Rama boys were perfect hosts as usual.  Vice mayor Mike, Hector, Sammy, Ito, Barangay councilor John and councilor  Edu. Manny Pacquiao proved once again that “dili pa siya gurang”, knocking down Keith Thurman in the first round and held on to win by split decision.  Manny also bloodied Thurman’s mouth to totally stop his trash talking.

Did you know?

KANO YASHAMURA of Japan was instrumental for a hole-in- one in 1992, didn’t live to tell the story or even knew about the feat.  The Japanese was struck by someone else’s 220 yard-drive that hit him on the head, killing him instantly.  The ball bounced straight into the hole.  My golfer friend Francis Gaston called it “Hole In The Head”.  “Nabuak an gulo ni Yashamura”.

JACK JOHNSON the world’s first heavyweight boxing champion was refused permission to boardan ocean liner sailing from Britain to New York because of his color (at that time discrimination was really bad).  The Titanic sailed without him.

CHESS did not originate from Russia but in the Muslim world and came to Britain with the Normans.  Interestingly, the original version had no queen because of Islamic attitudes towards women.  Instead the piece was called “Viziek” or advisor.  Bishops weren’t mullahs though, they were originally elephants.

WALLACE WILLIAMS of the Virgin Islands was a slow but sure marathoner.  In the 1979 Pan American games held in Puerto Rico, he arrived at the stadium nearly 45 minutes after the last runner, only to find he couldn’t get in.  The race officials had forgotten about him, locked up and went home.

FLOYD PATTERSON must have known he was in for beating when he fought Sonny Liston in 1962.  Before the match, he’d bought a disguise.  True enough, Liston battered him in just 126 seconds. After the humiliating defeat, he slipped past the spectators in his false beard and glasses.  The fight was billed as “Beauty versus the Beast” with Liston knocking down Patterson three times before finally putting him out.  Classius Clay called Liston an ugly bear and defeated the ex-convict in May 1964 when Liston refused to come out in the seventh round.  Clay said before the fight.  “King Liston will stay only until he meets Cassius Clay.  Moore fell in four.  Liston in eight”.  The day after the fight, Clay embraced the Muslim Religion and became Muhammad Ali.

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