“Management has been very clear that they don’t want the union here and they are taking it personally that we would even try.”
The man saying this to me is a new father in his early thirties. He’s a very skilled creative professional with a decent job in the entertainment industry. I just finished lunch with him and eight of his coworkers at the Edison Diner in Manhattan. They are all trying to organize their workplace into the union that I work for. As the organizer, it is my job to help them develop a plan to win and to motivate them when they feel ready to throw in the towel. “Things have become so tense that people are worried if we win this that the tension will never go away.”
I imagine there are worse things to be remembered for than felling a horse with a single punch, but it should be noted for posterity that this was not the only highly theatrical brawl of Alex Karras’s career. In 1963, a professional wrestler named Dick the Bruiser strutted into the Lindell AC Bar, a Detroit pub Karras partly owned, and Dick the Bruiser was intent on stirring up trouble. Karras and Dick the Bruiser were scheduled to wrestle that coming Saturday, but Dick suggested they settle it then and there, and so they did, reportedly shattering windows and engaging patrons and passersby and several of Detroit’s Finest in the fracas. Dick the Bruiser wound up with five stitches, but Karras lost the subsequent wrestling match, so I guess we can call it a wash.
Living and dying with the New Jersey Nets in 2012 is like riding hard for a pet goldfish — it's not gonna be around very long, and it'll never amount to much, so why bother? On Sunday, I went to the Prudential Center in Newark to find out.
"Last year, the Nets are playing the Celtics, and our arch-enemy Paul Pierce comes to the line," says Mr. Whammy, 76, from his regular seat behind the visitors' basket on the floor at the Pru. It's just before tip-off in one of the last games the Nets will ever play in Jersey.
Whammy's real name is Bruce Reznick. He's wearing glasses the size of side-view mirrors and a red Nets jersey that hangs to the middle of his thighs. "Pierce comes to the line," continues Whammy, "and I start yelling, 'I'm gonna put the whammy on you, 34! Whaaammy on you, 34! And Pierce, he says to me, '34? What's my name? You know my name!'" Whammy chomps a chocolate chip cookie. "And Pierce misses the free throw! The whammy worked!" Then what? "Pierce makes his next 11. It's the Nets. Whaddya expect?"