Monday, April 12, 2010

55 Years of Mexico City History, as told by Sports Illustrated

'Sports Illustrated', founded in 1954, is probably my favorite magazine. I was going through their archive recently and found they had a lot of interesting articles about Mexico City. Not surprisingly, there are a lot fewer articles from the last twenty years. In that time, SI has had a lot less foreign stories, and in general fewer long form articles. It used to be a lot more about hunting, nature, and travel, and now it's heavily focused on mass-market sports (NBA, NFL, etc.). I'm sure the rise of niche magazines for things like hunting, etc. is a reason for this. All that being said, you can find nearly every article ever published in the magazine online for free.

Organized chronologically, here's a few interesting ones about my new city:

-A 1955 article on the Pan-American Games in Mexico City and the affect of the 7,200-foot altitude. I definitely noticed that when I first started playing tennis here.

-A 1955 article about the newly-booming Acapulco, only a few hours drive from Mexico City and a popular weekend retreat for many Chilangos (Mexico City residents).

-An article about the city in general and being a sportsman here, from 1957.

-A 1959 article about Cuernavaca, a weekend town an hour outside of Mexico City.

-A 1960 recap of the U.S. Davis Cup team (tennis) playing a match against Mexico in Mexico City.

-A 1965 article on DF's altitude, as athletes prepared for the 1968 Summer Olympics to be held in Mexico City. (Was 'summer' a bit unnecessary?)

-A lengthy 1966 article on the success of the Mexican Baseball League in luring American stars in 1946.

-An article about the 1966 playing of the Eisenhower Trophy matches, a men's amateur team golf event, that was played at Club de Golf Mexico, the course in my neighborhood (that unfortunately is muy privado).

-A 1967 piece about the social life of the city.

-A story about the 1967 World Cup of Golf (featuring Arnie and Jack) which was played at the aforementioned course.

-A fascinating piece, written in the summer a few months before the Olympics in October 1968, about a gringo driving to Mexico City from America.

-An article written just before the Olympics discussing the tragedy of the government massacre of students at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas.

-A lengthy feature reporting on the sports results at the Olympics.

-An article by Australian Roger Bannister, written post-Olympics, about the effects of competing at such high altitude on the runners. He was the first person to run the mile in less than four minutes.

-A couple months after the Olympics, an in-depth analysis of Bob Beamon's awe-inspiring leap.

-An article reporting on Mexico hosting the 1970 World Cup.

-College football has a long history in Mexico, and this piece from 1971 reports on Notre Dame coming to Mexico City to play a football game against the Mexico City Redskins. The same stadium would host a regular-season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers in 2005. This city has been mentioned as a possible site for an expansion team in the NFL.

-A long and very well-written 1976 article on boxing in la capital, easily Mexico's second favorite sport behind soccer and a chance at freedom from poverty for many youth. (Cock-fighting might be a close 3rd).

-An article from 1981 on former Boston Red Sox star George Scott playing baseball for the Mexico City Tigers after he couldn't get signed by an MLB team.

-An article on the 1986 World Cup, where Diego Maradona and the 'Hand of God' helped Argentina win the championship in Mexico City.

-Rick Reilly's 1989 Mexico Pacific Coast travel guide. Not directly about Mexico City, but related to exico City in this way: What I possibly love most about living here is how many amazing things there are to do within a reasonable drive or a very short flight. Knowing you can have a short drive to either the Pacific or Caribbean, or any variety of parks, makes this chaotic city worth it.

-A 1994 article on Jorge Campos, perhaps Mexico's most famous soccer player in the '90s and a star goalie for Pumas, one of the three teams in Mexico City.

-A 2005 preview of the US trying to finally win a soccer game at Estadio Azteca, and the reporting on the failure yet again.

-A 2008 article on John Carlos, one of the 'Black Power' sprinters at the '68 Olympics who has traveled a long journey from pariah to hero.

I hope you get some enjoyment out of reading this. I just wish the green fees at Acapulco golf club were still $1.20 and that you could rent a house at Las Palmas for $5 a night.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hola Hola

Hola, how's it going? Things are basically the same here in the city. The semester ends in five weeks, and then I'll start my final semester in August, and finish the master's in December.

First Lady Michelle Obama is coming to Mexico City tomorrow. It is her first official solo trip abroad. I'm still trying to get an invite to one of the events.

We had spring break a couple weeks ago and I went to Acapulco for a few days. It's really nice having it only a few hours drive from Mexico City. Nothing crazy there (it was past the peak of American spring break season), but very crowded from all the domestic spring breakers.

I just bought a plane ticket to Europe for the end of May, it'll be my first time out of North America and I'm very excited. My friend Jon from North Park (we played golf together) is moving to Lisbon, Portugal soon to teach English after a year teaching English in South Korea. I'll be flying in and out of Lisbon (the tickets were cheaper there than to anywhere else in Europe) and will be visiting London, Paris, and hopefully Barcelona. After that I'm planning on spending two months in Chicago before heading back to DF. I hope you're all doing well. I'm definitely excited baseball is back, I'm watching every Cubs game possible. This is our year!!!
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