SoCS- 1/28/23- Just For Sport

Your prompt for #JusJoJan the 28th and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “throw in the towel.” Use the phrase “throw in the towel” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

The phrase we’re asked to use came from the sport of boxing. Well, it used to be a ‘sport’.

Yep, it’s a bit barbaric but compared to ancient Rome and gladiators, not so much. And those boxers are willing participants.

I used to watch Friday Night Boxing with my grandfather when I was about 6 or 7. (It was usually sponsored by Piels beer. I’ve posted one below. Notice there’s no disclaimer to not ‘drink and drive’. People, back then, knew better on their own, I guess. LOL)

Wait… let’s back up a bit. So, the phrase “throw in the towel” was synonymous with “crying Uncle” or for you younger folks, “giving up”. The manager would throw the towel he carried on his shoulder, for wiping his boxer’s face between rounds, into the ring if he realized that his guy was taking too much of a beating. Then the fight was over.

Back in the 60s, boxing was a popular sport. Was it dangerous? Yes. But it was no more potentially dangerous to one’s health than felling trees, or playing football, or building ‘towering skyscrapers’ and it was one way, inner-city, working-class men could make a living. Not the glamorous millionaire kind of today but a bare living.

But as all ‘sports’ have gone, so has boxing and it’s all about the ‘money’ now. There used to be technique and lots of training. Now it’s hype and showmanship.

I learned that there were two kinds of combatants…sluggers and boxers. The sluggers were just looking for a “knock out” and had powerful punches. The boxers were quick and skilled at endurance. They trained to deflect and ‘dance’ while wearing out their bulkier rivals by going the 10 rounds. The rings also varied. Some were larger than others. The smaller ones advantaged the sluggers because their rival had less area to avoid them optimizing the chances of a lucky blow. The large rings did the opposite. A skilled boxer could avoid exchanging blows as often and could tire out his rival (taking his arm strength away from fatigue) by making him the pursuer.

Which brings me to those Rocky movies. What the heck? That’s not ‘boxing’! Once I watched the first one and saw the back-and-forth carnage allowed, I “threw in the towel” on ever watching another one. If money doesn’t ruin something, Hollywood surely will!

10 thoughts on “SoCS- 1/28/23- Just For Sport

  1. Remember Golden Gloves boxing? Amateur boxing at its finest. Those guys were trying to win with honor, not to beat the crap out of the other guy.

    You’re right: sports is no longer about winning and losing and team spirit. I can recall when baseball players would be back at work in the foundries and warehouses, or selling insurance or earning their bachelor’s degree the second week of October. For the teams in the World Series, the third week of October. Spring Training was for working off the excess weight and getting back into baseball shape. They hardly made anything then. Now they make millions of dollars and can afford to stay in shape all winter…

      1. Boxing was part of my gym lessons growing up in England in the 50/60’s…….also if you fought in the playground you were invited into the boxing ring to finish the fight. All schools had boxing clubs and you fought other schools for district titles much like soccer today. How times have changed, now you are banned from even throwing a snowball.

  2. Pingback: Throw In The Towel? Me? #JusJoJan #socs – The Sound of One Hand Typing

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