The week in numbers: w/e 13/11/11

Joe Frazier, 1944-2011

67 – Age of Joe Frazier, the former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, who died after a short battle with liver cancer. He fought Muhammad Ali three times in world title bouts, including the ‘Fight of the Century’ (1971) and the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ (1975), winning once and losing twice.

1 – The IAAF World Atheltics Championships will be held in the UK for the first time after London was awarded the 2017 event over Doha, Qatar on Friday.

46 – Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was sacked for his role in not reporting allegations of child abuse to the police, in which a former assistant has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys. Paterno won 409 games – a major college football record – and two national championships in nearly 46 years as the coach of the Nittany Lions.

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Penn’s Paterno puts ‘Poppy-gate’ into proportion

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

46 years as head coach. 409 wins, more than any other at the highest level of college football. Five undefeated seasons. Two national championships. Joe Paterno will always be remembered as the record-setting coach of Penn State University‘s football team. Sadly, his name will now also be forever linked to the child abuse scandal which led to his summary dismissal last night, bringing an abrupt and undignified end to one of the most storied careers in any sport.

It is a scandal which puts the England football team’s ‘Poppy-gate’ dispute into its proper context. Only yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron put his political weight behind this cause célèbre, launching into bombastic, jingoistic rhetoric in protest against FIFA’s somewhat petty but not unreasonable refusal to allow England’s football team to wear poppies on their shirts in commemoration of Remembrance Sunday.

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