Happy birthday, Hank Williams, and I'll try not to hold it against you that you're dead.
Before dealing with the no-win situation that awaits Alabama tomorrow, a breather's needed. The Executioner and the Golden One are finally set to fight this weekend. It's a bout that's been in the works for nearly a year and in Hopkins' mind all his life -- even though he's got the age 'advantage' on De La Hoya by nearly a decade.
The take on Hopkins is that he's his own man -- at the very least, he's his own manager, trainer, accountant, press agent, and probably worst enemy, too. Case in point: after the fight was signed, Hopkins went back to his old neighborhood in South Philly, not for a social visit, mind you, but because a local contractor had taken his money and not performed the job.
Hopkins, with the biggest fight and the biggest payday of his life within view, drives downtown, finds the contractor -- a hulking man easily a foot taller and twice his size -- and beats the shit out of him on a street corner.
Seeing this giant felled by a man half his size, the neighborhood guys figured Hopkins must be back in town.
I offer this tale not to glorify insane street-wise credit plans, but rather to illustrate that if you expect standard risk-reward thinking from one side of the ring tomorrow night, look elsewhere.
When asked about his plans after the fight, Hopkins says he'll run for mayor of Philadelphia "if they can overlook the felony conviction."
Should be fun. As for football, this is a hateful game with no upside, a chance to appear the fool or the bully. So be it. Take their damned lunch money and get ready for the Hogs!