Muhammad Ali, the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion who helped define his turbulent times as the most charismatic and controversial sports figure of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 74.
His death was confirmed by Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman.
Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.
But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain. He entertained as much with his mouth as with his fists, narrating his life with a patter of inventive doggerel. (“Me! Wheeeeee!”)
Homewood-Flossmoor’s girls basketball team was scheduled to play T.F. North Wednesday. Instead, the Illinois High School Association has disqualified the team from the state playoffs over bylaw violations.
The Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball team and its acclaimed first-year coach Anthony Smith were top contenders for the state title this season. Now, they won’t even play a game in the tournament. In a decision Wednesday, issued about an hour before H-F was to play its opening game in the tourney, the Illinois High School Association dashed all hopes of the team’s postseason glory. Citing several violations of its bylaws, the IHSA banned H-F from competing and forfeited its 21 victories this season. The Vikings, ranked No. 1 by the Sun-Times, was scheduled to play T.F. North at 6 p.m. in Calumet City.
Just hours before the top-ranked Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball team was to take the floor to begin its playoff march, the state high school athletic association delivered a bombshell Wednesday, suspending the entire team and its highly regarded coach for rules violations.
The sanctions by the Illinois High School Association come just weeks after a lawsuit rocked the highly touted program, accusing coach Anthony Smith of improperly recruiting star players from other school districts in his first season at H-F. That prompted the school district to conduct an internal investigation that led it to acknowledge it had violated rules, though none for improper recruiting.
Yes, you’ve read that right. Things have gotten so bad in America that even our Olympic athletes are receiving “poverty stipends” in order to help them make ends meet as they struggle to represent our country in the Olympics while putting food on the table.
In this very telling video, Emily Scott, representing the United States in Olympic speedskating, fights back the tears as she recalls having to apply for food stamps due to her Olympic stipend being cut from $1950 per month to only $600 per month, less than the minimum wage.
It wasn’t too long ago we were all saying, "If you go to Crestwood, don’t drink the water."
"If you go to Crestwood, beware the mayor."
Especially if you play soccer.
Play soccer in a league that has been in existence for more than 40 years.
A league that is its own not-for-profit (NPF).
Do you get that?
An independent corporation.
In existence for more than 40 years.
Feel so, so very sorry for this Illinois village, stuck with a mayor hell-bent on stepping on children for political gain, clawing his way to the headlines, making a name for himself as a perpetrator of political vendetta.
At issue are the soccer fields just south of 138th Street and Lavergne Avenue, which are on ComEd land overlooked by high-tension towers.
According to soccer club board members, 32 years ago former Mayor Chester Stranczek agreed to let the club use the property rent-free after the village signed an agreement with the utility company for use of its easement.
Volunteers with the soccer club leveled the land by hand, raised money to construct a $22,000 fence and gate, more money to buy soccer goals and an additional $13,000 to build a garage to house equipment.
The village cuts the grass on the field. But, for 20 years, the field has been in use by the not-for-profit Crestwood Soccer Club, composed of "more than 500 children signed up for its fall season; about 70 percent Crestwood residents and the rest from the surrounding suburbs," according to Kadner.
Seventy percent is an amazing figure for a club, and political suicide for anyone to mess with. Especially a 20-year agreement.
But why should that stop Lou Presta?
There are 40 recreation teams and five travel teams in the club.
So why, pray tell, is the mayor, Louis Presta, messing with this fine organization, and the 500+ children (70% from Crestwood) who are members?
First, Crestwood Trustee John Toscas is president of the not-for-profit (NFP) Soccer Club.
And Toscas, it appears, is not a strong-enough supporter of the mayor.
Not only that, Presta indicated he wants the soccer club to share the money it raises with the rest of the village’s recreational programs.
“Some recreation programs make money and some don’t,” Presta said. “I believe the money should be spread around so that those that make money can help support those that don’t to provide opportunities to everyone.
Of course. So this private corporation must now open its books to the village.
And pay, pay, pay.
Because Lou Presta, mayor of Crestwood, is a real piece of work.
Ten months after a Georgia student claimed Ben Roethlisberger raped her, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll finds that a fourth of local fans dislike him.
But 54 percent of Western Pennsylvania residents hold a "favorable" opinion of the Steelers’ quarterback, according to the Dec. 21-22 telephone survey conducted by Susquehanna Polling & Research in Harrisburg. The poll’s margin of error was 3.24 percent.
After a night of drinking in bars in Milledgeville, Ga., a 20-year-old accused Roethlisberger on March 5 of assaulting her in a restroom. Lacking evidence of a crime, investigators condemned his boorish behavior but punted on prosecuting him. That left National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Roethlisberger for four games.
A separate lawsuit is pending in Nevada, where a woman claims Roethlisberger raped her.
My son wore his Roethlisberger jersey to the Steelers game last Thursday night. And I was fine with that.
The Steelers are not ruling out strong safety Troy Polamalu for a game they likely have to win to capture a third division title in four years and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Polamalu, who has missed the past two games with a lower leg injury, will try to practice Friday and could play Sunday against the Browns. Tomlin said the Steelers will make a decision on Polamalu for the 1 p.m. game at Cleveland based on how well he is able to move in practice. “Troy’s improving,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could play this weekend, and if he’s healthy he will.” The best-case scenario for the Steelers is they beat the Browns without Polamalu. That would give the six-time Pro Bowler an extra week to get healthy because of the first-round bye the Steelers would get as the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. If the Steelers lose to the Browns and the Ravens beat the Bengals, the Steelers would have to play on the road the following weekend. When asked Monday if he expected Polamalu to play in Cleveland, Steelers inside linebacker James Farrior said, “Doesn’t look good, but you never know.”