Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Sports besides Tennis’

Money, morals and Mayweather

May 19, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Sports besides Tennis 1 Comment →

Anyone who cares about boxing knows that a number of its participants have criminal pasts—and, for that matter, criminal presents and criminal futures. In Mayweather’s case, the news of his latest assault and concomitant jail sentence was sometimes treated as yet one more episode in a colorful life. A few months after the sentence came down, HBO called Mayweather “one of boxing’s most intriguing and controversial figures” and broadcast “Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out,” an interview conducted by Michael Eric Dyson, the scholar known for his analysis of African-American culture and politics.

“I’m pretty sure Martin Luther King been in jail,” Mayweather said, rather nonsensically. “I’m pretty sure Malcolm X been in jail.”

At one point, Dyson suggested that Mayweather’s critics were jealous and possibly racist. He asked, “Do you think people have a real resentment of your success as a black man who’s flashy, making it rain, and they look at their own lives and see that they’re not doing nearly as well as you?”

What should we do with athletes like Mayweather, who commit particularly disturbing crimes? In boxing, the answer, traditionally, has been: as long as they are not currently incarcerated, let them fight.

Read The Best Defense by Kelefa Sanneh in the New Yorker.

Manny Vs Money: The “Fight of the Century”?

May 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Sports besides Tennis No Comments →


Manny (Pacquiao) himself has always seemed generous and open-hearted, just happy to be where he is. It’s a long way from living on the streets after your drunken father ate your dog. During the stare-off with his opponent he could not stop smiling. Addressing his fans, he told them not to worry because he was doing the fighting, not them. Very considerate of him. I wonder if he was aware that he was speaking epic hero language: I will carry this burden for you. Maybe he is aware of it, having written and sung that song (covered on TV by Jimmy Kimmell, who has always treated Pacquiao with great respect, never mocking his English the way we do).

But the “Fight of the Century” wasn’t about being a good human being, it was all about money and hype. I like the boxing scholar who said a “fight of the century” must have a social dimension: Lewis vs Schmeling, in which a black man was fighting for the free world against Nazism; Ali vs Frazier, after Ali had taken a stand against the Vietnam War. There was no social import here: Mayweather was not making a statement on the riots in Baltimore or the death of black men in police custody. This fight was purely about money.

Read our column now at

Mazel tov, Your Highness

May 02, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Sports besides Tennis 2 Comments →

The second we checked into Budapest, the BBC reported that England’s new royal baby has arrived and she’s a girl. Mazel tov! Given the timing of the birth–breaking into the latest non-news on the upcoming Pacquiao-Mayweather match–and given that Manny Pacquiao named his daughter “Queen Elizabeth”, Kate and Wills should call their baby “Dionesia”.

Beat him, Pac-Man.

April 29, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Sports besides Tennis No Comments →

Photo from BBC Sport

We don’t like boxing, and generally what a Manny Pacquiao bout means to us is that road traffic will be very light on the Sunday morning (Manila time) it’s on so we can go to Binondo, Divisoria and Quiapo. We think Manny Pacquiao entering politics is a daffy idea. We’re not interested in his affairs or the romantic life of his mother. But every time we see reports on the upcoming Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, we want Manny Pacquiao to beat Mayweather’s ass like a drum. We want Manny to pulverize him. Do it, Pac-Man.


Little Azkals movie showing in cinemas on October 25-26

October 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Sports besides Tennis No Comments →

Directed by Baby Ruth Villarama. Opening on 25-26 October, 2014 at selected SM Cinemas.

Venganza! On Oberyn Martell, the World Cup, and Jose Rizal’s library

June 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, History, Sports besides Tennis 1 Comment →


We know nothing about the teams battling it out in the football World Cup (except that the Italian, Spanish and Croatian teams look fabulous). But when we heard that Spain, which had lost to the Netherlands 1-5 (Was Iker asleep?), was up against Chile, we decided we were rooting for Chile. Because Pedro Pascal who played the Red Viper Oberyn Martell of Dorne is Chilean! And used his father’s accent in the role (He himself has lived in New York for ages). The Red Viper did not make much of an impression on us when we read A Song of Ice and Fire, but with Pascal in the role (and Benioff-Weiss speeding up the story), whoa!

And Chile kicked defending champion Spain out of the World Cup, 2-0. As Butch texted: Spain eliminated on Rizal’s birthday. Venganza!

Which reminded us that today is Jose Rizal’s birthday. Yikes, we had forgotten. Why is it that we mark his death rather than his birth?

What do the Red Viper and our national hero have in common? Venganza! Oberyn Martell did it through mortal combat with The Mountain (Finish him off now! Get away from that–oh yucch), Rizal’s mysterious Simoun planned to do it with some nitroglycerine in a lamp shaped like a pomegranate.

This being Jose Rizal’s birthday, we looked up the list of the books he owned in Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Colonial Imagination by Benedict Anderson. The library that Rizal brought back from Europe included books by the following authors.

Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (Was the steak named after him?)
Alphonse Daudet
Alexandre Dumas pere (5) – Of course, El Filibusterismo being heavily inspired by the revenge classic The Count of Monte Cristo.
Victor Hugo – Everyone read Les Miserables; today everyone sings the songs.
Alain-Rene Lesage
Eugene Sue (10), author of sensational novels that dealt with social ills
Emile Zola (4)

Edward Bulwer-Lytton of “It was a dark and stormy night” infamy
Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe?
Charles Dickens – Of course, but which one.
William Makepeace Thackeray – Vanity Fair, we suppose.

E.T.A. Hoffman – Fantasy and horror author

Alessandro Manzoni – I promessi sposi

Douwes Dekker

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra – Don Quixote, we presume.

Anderson points out that these authors had been mentioned in Rizal’s letters: (Hans Christian) Andersen, (Honore de) Balzac, Johann Peter Hebel, and (Jonathan) Swift. Rizal also had access to the library of Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, in whose house in Paris he had been a guest for several months.