At 7\’1\”, Wilt Chamberlain may have been the most dominating and amazing basketball player of all time. In his legendary career, Chamberlain scored 31,419 points, including the unbelievable time he actually scored 100 points in one game. He holds dozens of unbreakable basketball records. In addition to his accomplishments on the court, Chamberlain also authored four books. None of the others created nearly the stir and controversy as his 1991 book,
A View From Above. In it, the basketball great claimed to have slept with 20,000 different women during his life. A media firestorm erupted, and Chamberlain was attacked from all sides. The country was at the height of the AIDS crisis, and activists criticized Wilt for his promiscuity. He also came under fire in African-American circles for promoting black racial stereotypes. And feminists resented his blatant sexism for using women in such a manner. To Wilt\’s credit (I guess), he never backed down from his claim, never said he was just \”bragging\” or \”stretching the truth. \” He simply stated: \”I was just laying it out there for people who were curious. \” Wilt was emphatic that he never went to bed with a married woman. \”I was just doing what was naturalБchasing good-looking ladies, whoever they were and wherever they were. \” But could he really sleep with 20,000 different women? Let\’s analyze it. If Wilt started at the age of 15, from then up to the age of 55 (when the book was published) he would have had 40 years to sleep with 20,000 women, or 500 different women a yearБeasy math.
That works out to roughly 1. 4 women a day. According to close friends, Wilt loved threesomes. According to legend, he was intimate with 23 different women on one 10-day road trip. Wilt was also a lifelong insomniac, sometimes just not sleeping at all. He probably would take a woman to bed any time he couldn\’t fall asleep. But the time factor is an interesting point. A close childhood friend, Tom Fitzhugh, said, \”I don\’t remember him having a date. He was probably a virgin when he left high school. \” So let us assume Wilt really started around the age of 18, which ups the average to 1. 5 women per day for 37 years. Additionally, he did have a six-month schedule, for 14 seasons, of playing professional basketball. That\’s 82 games a season, not including playoffs, exhibitions, practices, and travel time. The fact that he said 20,000 different women also leaves little time for repeats, or love. And what about sickness? Everyone gets sick once in a while, which would have cost Wilt precious time during those 37 to 40 sexually active years. But most incredibly, even with those reported 20,000 sexual liaisons, Wilt is not known to have contracted any serious sexually transmitted diseases. Nor was there ever a woman who came forward with an unplanned pregnancy, a \”little Wilt,\” or a paternity suit. And what about turndowns? Every guy in human history has been turned down by a woman at some point. One can only wonder at Wilt\’s rejections. probably extremely few, to manage that 20,000 record.
In a 1999 interview, shortly before he died, Wilt made the following revealing statement: \”Having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I\’ve learned in my life. I\’ve (also) found out that having one woman a thousand different times is more satisfying. \” So perhaps he made time for repeats after all. Chamberlain died of heart failure in 1999 in Bel-Air, California, at the age of 63. As a sidebar, Wilt was a huge hero of mineБmy supreme basketball hero, as a kid and to this day. I wore Wilt\’s number 13 on my jersey as I ineptly played for my synagogue\’s basketball team. (I scored 18 points in 18 games, a nifty 1. 0 scoring average. ) Many years later, I met \”Wilt the Stilt\” at a book-signing for the infamous A View From Above, and I even got to shake his hand. It was, far and away, the biggest hand I have ever seen (or shaken). He didn\’t just shake my handБhe engulfed it! The instantly-recognizable song is played before thousands of sporting events every year, but just how did the come to be a staple of sports in the first place? The answer, it turns out, has to do with. century mightБve heard live military bands play the Star-Spangled Banner at a game every so often, but the songБwhich hadnБt yet been designated as the national anthemБwasnБt really a common occurrence at sporting events. That began to change on September 5, 1918, during б Game 1 of the between the and the. It was an era when the Red Sox still had, and the phrase Б the Cubs won the World SeriesБ wasnБt yet a joke.
In fact, the two teams had won six of the last 15 world championship titles. A giant flag lowered for the national anthem during the Red Sox home opener at Fenway Park in Boston, 2015. (Credit: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) Yet even though the event featured two teams at the top of their games, the crowd was somber that day, ESPN The Magazine. Since entering the Great War a year and a half ago, more than 100,000 U. S. soldiers had died. And just a day before the game, a bomb had exploded in Chicago, (the city in which the game was held), killing four people and injuring dozens more. In addition, the U. S. government had recently announced that it would begin drafting major league baseball players. All this sat heavy on the shoulders of both the players and the smaller-than-usual crowd of fans that day. But during the seventh-inning stretch, the U. S. Navy band began to play the Star-Spangled Banner; and something changed. Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs during the 1918 World Series at Comiskey Park Chicago, Illinois. (Credot: Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) As the song began, Red Sox infielder Fred ThomasБwho was in the and had been granted furlough to play in the World SeriesБ turned toward the American flag and gave it a military salute, to the Chicago Tribune. Other players turned to the flag with hands over hearts, and the already-standing crowd began to sing.
At the songБs conclusion, the previously quiet fans erupted in thunderous applause. At the time, the New York Times that it Бmarked the highest point of the dayБs enthusiasm. Б The song would be played at each of the SeriesБ remaining games, to increasingly rapturous response. And patriotism played a part right from the start, as the Red Sox gave free tickets to wounded veterans and honored them during the playing of the Star-Spangled Bannerб before the start of the decisive Game 6. The New York Yankees hold their caps over their hearts during a performance of the national anthem, 1921. (Credit: FPG/Getty Images) Other baseball parks began to play the song on holidays and special occasions, and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee made it a regular part of Boston home games. The Star-Spangled Banner officially became the U. S. national anthem in, and by the end of World War II, б NFL Commissioner ordered that it be played at every football game. The tradition quickly spread to, aided by the introduction of large sound systems and post-war patriotism. The anthemБs adoption also gave way to a new American pastime, almost as beloved as sports itself: complaining about peopleБs behavior during the national anthem. By 1954, Baltimore Orioles general manager Arthur Ehlers was already fans he thought disrespected the anthem by talking and laughing during the song. Ehlers briefly stopped playing the anthem altogether, before relenting to pressure and reinstating it a month later.