Chocolate Diamond Jewelry Industry Scam

. the color of the suit you buried your grandpa in).  Le Vian Jewelers is generally given credit for coming up with the name (they trademarked it).  And to show what audacious liars they are, here’s part of their corporate statement (written by their obviously evil designer and CEO) about chocolate diamonds:

And in that waste in the color spectrum perhaps the most common is the “brown” diamond.  While carrying the hardness of any diamond, the brown diamond (much like a turd) does not reflect and refract light very well.  In fact, these diamonds were once considered so worthless for jewelry, regardless of size, that they weren’t even assessed on the industry’s diamond color scale when found.  They usually went straight to factories, tool and die companies, and other industries for applications in sandpaper, other abrasives, polishers, or coated on drill bits and saw blades for extra “bite”. uh .

On the Hershey Highway

Now we need to look more closely at that last “c” in the Four C classification system, “color”.

Since then, the lowly brown diamond was rechristened as “chocolate” (because, hey, chocolate is yummy, and brown is . People had to wait in long lines for gas at stations (on those days when said stations even had gas to dispense). 

And it worked!

Such valuable brown stones are the exception, however.  The mining operations continued to keep dredging up the lesser ones while nothing of interest to the general public was done with them. 

Another policy that resulted in its global monopoly was De Beers’ buying up of diamonds from other producers, hoarding them, and only releasing fixed quantities to keep prices up.  Intimidation, thuggery, and much bloodletting were involved in bringing independent mining operations, and their output, under De Beers’ control.  [The history of De Beers, with its colonial policies, intrigues, and interference with indigenous populations is a fascinating one, worthy of separate exploration by anyone.]

It should come as no surprise, then, that the ignorant have been deluded once again into paying big money for something they don’t need.  An entire, very lucrative, industry has scammed its way into the hearts and wallets of Joe Schmo based on something that–until about 1986–was so ill-regarded it was considered garbage, an item with almost no worth except in an industrial setting.  This scammy product usually makes its insidious and unwelcome presence more aggressively known as holidays approach (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, Mother’s Day, et al).

Cut Out the Chocolate!

With Valentine’s Day rearing its ugly head the ads keep coming harder!  And they’ll getcha, sucka, if not now then later on in the year near Mothers’ Day and Christmas, too.  Maybe even Presidents’ Day, who knows?

But just because De Beers has lost its iron-fisted grip on the marketplace doesn’t mean other diamond producers, brokers, and retailers aren’t doing their best to continue the model of “limited supply equals high dollars”.  De Beers, its business model intact, has been replaced globally by an outfit headquartered in England, Central Selling Organization, or CSO.  It is no different in its actions than De Beers (except, perhaps, for maybe not murdering recalcitrant mine workers or reluctant mine owners and operators unwilling to come into the fold). . The rest is so much valueless junk. 

Ladies, when receiving such a thing, slap yo’ man (or woman, if you are of that particular turn of that wheel) as hard as you can across his/her big, sappy, love-struck chops if he/she brings home anything with chocolate diamonds in it as a love offering on those “special” occasions (like Groundhog Day).

The reason to crack someone across the piehole?  That moron just spent a buncha money on something that is better used to dust a drill bit or coat a circular saw blade, that’s why.  And, worse than that, your benefactor was stupid enough to buy into the hype!  So, crack him/her a good one, right square in the yap.

That all changed in 1986 when a new mine in Australia was developed, the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia..  As the hardest substance in the world the browns had a job to do and did it very well.

But one of those jobs was not to be a piece of jewelry.  Sure, there have been a handful of “famous” brown diamonds cut and mounted, but these are most notable for their sheer size (recall that “carat weight” is a major factor in appraising such a stone–the bigger, the better).  In fact, the largest cut stone now in the world was found in the rough at over 750 carats (around 150 g).  It came from–natch–a De Beers mine in South Africa in 1985.  The final cut version is almost 550 carats (almost 110 g) and bears the name “Golden Jubilee Diamond”; it was gifted to the King of Thailand in 2000 on the 50th anniversary of his coronation. 

The Swindle

With a largish stock of an undesirable commodity on hand the jewelry industry came up with a plan.  How about polishing these things, rebrand them as “chocolate”, lie to the public by telling them they are rare and valuable, and sell the hell out of them at high prices? 

“Chosen for their rarity and chocolate flavor”?  You’re joking, right?  We all now know these are not rare.  As for their chocolate flavor, has this CEO ever eaten one?  Do they, indeed, taste chocolaty, like Ovaltine?  Or do they taste more like Hershey’s syrup?  Are you for real, guy?  [Oh, and I do believe that Le Vian doesn’t own a “brand of fancy color diamonds”–that would be the Earth itself that owns that particular brand.]  This is a scam, plain and simple, and the Newspeak used by that company’s CEO is laughable at best.  [Oh, and adding insult to the major injury already inflicted, many of these “fine” jewelry pieces featuring the always lovely chocolate diamond are accented with synthetic stones!]

Never mind the fact there is no such thing as an aphrodisiac (other than the human brain).  Listen, instead, to how insulting to anyone’s intelligence this commercial is.  Pay attention!  They make this thing–once about as popular as a pube on a bar of soap–sound as if it really is special!

[Spoiler alert: if you’ve been reading closely you’ll realize it ain’t special, not one bit!]

Back to your school days.  Another thing you probably learned about diamonds is they are very rare, another reason why they cost so much.

In the normal world of supply-and-demand such a readily available item would go for cheap.  Not so with diamonds, though.  Despite there being enough diamonds in the world to toss around like confetti at a ticker-tape parade the quantity available in the world at any given time is tightly controlled by consortia that operate no differently, by and large, than your average drug cartel. 

As probably everyone knows diamonds can be found in any color or tone of the visible light spectrum, from jet black, to blue values, through yellow, until reaching the most desirable, the “perfectly” clear, transparent stone known as “white”.

Most diamonds found are colored to some degree (there are even green ones).  This is from impurities that bonded with carbon under high pressure and temperatures over millennia, forming a natural diamond.  [Another myth to destroy about diamonds, too: while, like coal, it is made of carbon, a diamond is not an advanced evolutionary step in a lump of coal’s life.  While the processes are similar, diamonds–unlike coal, almost pure carbon–are created independently of coal formation, though diamonds may be found in or near coal veins.]

Well, I take back part of the last statement: the chocolate diamond is very valuable, but only to the jewelry industry that possesses a glut of them.  The public, however, has been righteously–and perhaps, deservedly–conned!

The “rarity” part is a lie of epic proportions–diamonds are not one bit rare.  “Wait, what?” you say.  “Not rare?  But I’ve been told that all my life.  How can that be, Vic Dillinger?”  Well, the plain truth is there are many, many diamond mines around the world (though precious few volume producers in the US).  They generate tons of diamonds, and a bazillion dollars’ worth are cleaned up and processed annually.

This practice began with De Beers, a bloodthirsty organization started by Cecil Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), the company later named for the diamond mine Rhodes bought from a South African farmer, a man named de Beers, in the late 1800s.  This group became controlled by a moneyed and influential family, the Oppenheimers, and under their guidance De Beers strong-armed a virtual world monopoly on diamonds for more than eight decades (ending over the years 2000 through 2011 for reasons too complex and numerous to go into now). 

We Gotcha, Sucka!Chump Stains of the World: Open Your Wallets!

The average shmendrik is usually led around by the nose when it comes to marketing and advertising people: “I need that REALLY BIG-SCREAM TEE-VEE, make it a curved one, too!”

Sure enough, with no surplus supply (or even daily usage guaranteed) the prices of anything related to petroleum (gasoline, home heating, and plastics) rose dramatically. . .  Thus, the cycle of hoarding and releasing controlled stones into the market place, price fixing, and other aspects of Sir Ernst Oppenheimer’s business methods are still with us today, De Beers or no De Beers.

Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with a person looking at one of these diarrhea-colored stones and liking it as something to wear (a polished chunk of beer bottle glass is just as attractive in my book).  What that person needs to be aware of, though, is that he or she has been manipulated by a very slick, ongoing ad campaign, and is definitely being ripped off at the cash register.  If you just gotta have one, my advice is to buy a loose stone and have it mounted.  Don’t pay those absurd prices!    

Sound like a good plan? 

Diamonds?  Rare?  Really?

From almost everyone’s earliest school days they are told that diamonds are the hardest known substance.  True: they are the hardest known naturally occurring substance.  People also learn diamonds are precious stones; what makes them precious, at least for a diamond, is their ability to brilliantly reflect and refract light in prismatic colors.  In other words, they sparkle (“Ooooooh, a shiny object!! Lemme at it!!”).

And, in the process, everyone else can do themselves a favor to stop this madness: don’t buy into the load of chocolaty hooey you’re being sold!

This mine’s problem?  About 80% of what comes out of it are brown diamonds!  This mine accounts for, by itself, slightly over one-third of the world’s supply of brown diamonds.  The question then became, “What can we do with this crap?”

You bet it was.

The same is true of the diamond industry.  It is tightly controlled to make sure only enough stones are on the market, at high prices, to sustain those high prices.  Too many diamonds on the free market and prices would drop. 

The other three “c” words are “carat weight”, “cut”, and “color”.  Diamonds don’t always come very large in the rough, so bigger is better and, therefore, more valuable.  And the gemologists’ work on faceting and cleaning up the rough stone enhances the “sparkle”–a badly cut diamond will lose value over one dressed by a pro.

But it looks cool–I know, right?  [And, yeah, I know, IMAX screens are slightly curved to immerse the viewer in the experience, but wouldja just look at the size of those damn screens?  That’s how they look better: size.  Put a curved IMAX-sized screen in your house; then come talk to me about the benefits of a curved viewing surface.  People, please!!]

Curved-screen TVs are making their way into the homes of the uninformed and those who feel compelled to keep up with electronics’ trends (which is why Apple can release a new iPhone about every six weeks with very little changes from the earlier model and yet the sheeple will buy them).   The curved-screen design is beginning to sell well despite the fact that, at the average viewing distance a normal person sits from the boob tube, there is no discernible difference in the image on the TV from a regular flat screen.

And that, children, is why diamonds are considered rare: not because there aren’t enough in the world but because some group restricts the number of them on the market.

The bloodbath OPEC started didn’t end there, though.  National speed limits in the US were reduced to 55 mph (88 km/hr) believing this saved on gasoline consumption (but in terms of productivity lost on the road at slower speeds it saved nothing).  We also got lectures on setting our heating thermostats down to 65° F (about 18° C) in the winter (an uncomfortable temperature: “Put on a sweater, Vic!”  “Screw you! I’m not putting my clothes back on!  Turn up the heat!”)  And, in an effort to make US cars more fuel efficient by cutting their weight with lighter materials and reducing their sizes, we had some of the stupidest looking and lowest powered vehicles on the road in the mid 1970s.

In the end, OPEC won in their stand-off.  Oil prices jacked up, the wealthy got wealthier, and the rest of us suffered under inflationary conditions.

For the not so fetus-y readers, you may recall the “gas shortage” of the early to mid 1970s which caused major financial problems in the US and everywhere else in the developed world.  Guess what?  There was no gas shortage nor was there a shortage of crude oil.  The “shortage” was created as an artificial means to jack up oil barrel prices by the cartel known as “OPEC” (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).  The countries involved in exporting oil didn’t like the low market prices.  To change that, they got together (as any good cartel would) and decided to reduce production to a trickle.  This led to a lower supply while the demand for oil remained the same. 

We’ll get to the other “c”-word, “color”, in a minute or two.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chocolate diamond, a worthless piece of tainted carbon that, thanks to ruthless (and outright lying) p.r., has been embraced by the sheeple as a rare and valuable commodity!  The surprise, of course, for the pedestrian consumer–who shelled out the big bucks–is that a brown (or “chocolate”) diamond is neither rare nor valuable!

What helps with that “sparkle” is one of the Four C’s used to assign a worth to a particular stone.  That “c” is “clarity”.  The more translucent and free of impurities a particular diamond is, the more valuable it is since its light catch-and-release abilities are greater than a clouded one. 

“Chocolate Diamonds® are Le Vian’s proprietary brand of natural fancy color diamonds that are chosen for their rarity and chocolate flavor.  Le Vian owns the international registration for the Chocolate Diamonds® trademark worldwide.”

Fellas (or women, if you are of a particular turn of that wheel) don’t be chump stains, buying your wife/girlfriend/conjugal-visit partner a ring or anything else with the “rare” and “valuable” chocolate diamonds in it.  You’d do just as well giving her a rusted nail bent into a ring shape with a chunk of gravel super-glued to it for all the brown diamonds are worth.  [Or, better yet, you can take a lump of what we humans excrete often, polish it mightily, and mount that on a few pennyweights’ worth of gold.  This would have about the same value as a chocolate diamond ring.  Plus, it’s the thought that counts behind handmade gifts, right?]

The word “rare” is heard in this commercial (liars!)

De Beers, headquartered in Luxembourg, is the insidious group that owned and operated the biggest diamond mines in the world; it dictated for most of the 20th Century the number of stones released into the wilds, too.  It grew fabulously wealthy to the point of telling governments what to do, setting foreign policy in the African lands where it operated mines, and generally threw its weight around.

***

The marketing strategy pushing these stones targets women (and, by default, the gullible men and womenfolk who want to please the women in their lives).  The ad campaigns are extremely sexist and pandering. 

And, yes, the words “exotic” and “rare” are bandied about in the commercials, while also attempting to appeal to human sensuality.  The commercial here, for example, claims that women have a favorite aphrodisiac, and–guess what?–it’s chocolate!  So, combining the color of chocolate with a hunk of worthless carbon is apparently supposed to get her rarin’ to go when you hand it over!

Mining operations dredge up tons of rock daily.  In that morass only a tiny percentage of what is recovered can be considered as useful for gemstones

How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line.

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10).

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said.

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent.

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. RJ Bell

©Pregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

How the Opening Line Is Made

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created.

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Contributed by:

Why the Line Changes

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years.

Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said.

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf).

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor).

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). Reasons for such adjustments include: . We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team

Rocky Marciano – InfoBarrel

Until Rocco put Brockton on the national map, his hometown was best known for its shoe factories. Equally unique, Marciano never came out of retirement to challenge subsequent champions, a temptation very few ex-champions have overcome, much less succeeded at.

Marciano died without a will. He usually didn’t pay anything for his cross-country trips: no plane fare, hotel fare, or meals. When he wasn’t playing sports he was running and exercising.

He and Lena settled in Brockton, a small city twenty miles south of Boston. Yet his retirement years revealed a man who seemed simple, but often was not.

The answer: Rocky Marciano, heavyweight boxing champion from 1952 to 1956, when at age thirty-three he retired with a perfect record (49-0, with 43 knockouts). Rocky Marciano was champion.

Marciano was “a kind and decent man.”, He was “inherently a decent, righteous and truly wonderful guy…His innate decency and wholesomeness shine through in a dedicated glow.” Or: “We never cease to be amazed at the humility of Rocky Marciano…he treats everyone if they were the celebrity and he the awed little guy.” Another writer called him “probably the humblest of heavyweight champions.”  Said another: “He reminds you of a great, friendly collie …with the grin of a shy fellow happy to be recognized, at last, as a member of the gang in good standing.” He was “the gentlest athlete I have ever known,” and again: “a man of simplicity and sincerity.”

Russell Sullivan, Rocky Marciano, The Rock of His Times, 2002, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago.. Marciano’s body was found pinned beneath the wreckage. Barbara missed Rocky, and drank too much. Skehan, Rocky Marciano, Biography of a First Son, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1977. 

Five months after Marciano’s death “The Superfight” debuted in theaters. After the Rock retired he kept running.

An investigation into the crash of the Cessna in NewtonIowa cited pilot inexperience as the cause of the crash. He was famous, successful, and well thought of. 

Perhaps it was his simplicity that allowed him to retire after beating everyone worth fighting. Before the fight Marciano met with a priest, who after their meeting said: “That boy is no ordinary prizefighter, he is one of the most dignified, straightforward people I have ever met in my life. Marciano went back into training and bought a toupee. The computer’s result: Marciano knocked out Ali in the thirteenth round. He even used a coat hanger to stuff money inside curtain rods.

Sources 

Rocky’s last big payday was a computerized fight with Muhammed Ali in 1969. Rocky seemed too busy to be home.

In 1976 Sylvester Stallone began his “Rocky” franchise. The Marchegiano’s had five more children after Rocco: Alice, Connie, Elizabeth, Louis, and Peter. Ali was in retirement too, after having his title stripped for refusing the draft. Once he hit a man so hard he almost killed him. Rocky slowly became a better boxer, but it was his punching power that kept him undefeated. He was invited to the White House to meet the President. He had no boxing skills. He said if the man died he would quit fighting. The people of the world should be informed of this boy’s character and personality.” 

Rocky was an old school Catholic. He was awkward in the ring. Then Rocky and Ali sparred 70 rounds for the camera, simulating different endings to the fight. The pilot landed the plane in a field in Newton, Iowa, and rammed into a lone tree in the middle of the field. Several opponents quit boxing after being knocked out by Marciano. At the last minute Rocky decided to squeeze in an appearance at a steak house in Des Moines, Iowa. His friends said the only thing Rocky was afraid of was being poor. It was an incredible run. His fanaticism about physical conditioning,  along with his determination and punching power, led to an unequalled record for a heavyweight champion: forty-nine professional wins, no defeats, forty-three victories by knockout. He would interrupt his training schedule to attend Mass. It is difficult to win a fight when you can’t reach your opponent. The nicest thing about being champ, he said, “is that people like you.”  Everyone but boxing experts, who found Rocky’s style too crude to suffer. Then he was cut from the Chicago Cubs farm system. The pilot had not flown at night before, became confused by the bad weather, and attempted to land in a field rather than the Newton airport. 

While sportswriters criticized Marciano’s boxing shortcomings, no one criticized his character, as the following quotes show:

After knocking out an old Joe Louis, Rocky got a title shot. Anthony before his first title fight, read The Confessions of St. He backed Walcott into the ropes. His parents loved opera, ate Italian food, and had wine with dinner. Rocky never wrote anything down, he tried to keep track of his loans in his head, and sometimes forgot who owed him, and how much. Rocky hadn’t fought or trained for fourteen years. Yet he used a wire to try to get coins back he used to make telephone calls. A few minutes later she came out complaining: “What is he, crazy? He didn’t want anything to do with me.” Marciano seemed more comfortable in the company of clergy than actresses. And he could be incredibly tight with a buck. He made sure the people who invited him paid for everything.

Far behind on points late in the fight, Rocky needed a knockout to win. Rocco slept in the living room with the windows open, even in the winter, as if in defiance of his bout with pneumonia.

Marchegiano went to New York and met Al Weill, a boxing manager who tried to Americanize his name. Walcott collapsed to the canvas and was counted out. He would never be a classic boxer, but he worked unceasingly at improving his craft, and trained relentlessly. Even as champion he came to the ring in a robe bearing the colors of BrocktonHigh School (even though he dropped out in the tenth grade). He even had a role in a movie. On those occasions Rocco reached opponents with his right hand, however, they fell down and didn’t get up. 

He rarely saw his wife and children; or his parents, brothers, and sisters. His marriage was strained. The 1963 issue of Boxing Illustrated claimed: “Marciano’s knockout blow packs more explosive energy than an armour-piercing bullet and represents as much energy as would be required to spot lift 1000 pounds one foot off the ground.”  Although this sort of ‘science’ was probably conducted by zealous Marciano fans, it is undeniably true that Rocky hit really hard.) 

His upbringing was steeped in Italian customs and traditions. He boarded a small, single engine Cessna. He knocked out nine of his early opponents in the first round. He retained his public life, crisscrossing across the country to give speeches, participate in benefits, and conduct business. The champion was Jersey Joe Walcott, a ring veteran most experts picked to beat Marciano easily. One sportswriter said Marciano brought the “austere, sackcloth-and -ashes approach of a monk” to his training. Stallone credited Chuck Wepner’s losing effort in a fight with Muhammed Ali as the inspiration for the film, yet the similarities of Rocky Balboa to Rocky Marciano are numerous and obvious. 

The doctor was wrong. Sometimes he would cover his chin and hands with St. Jude’s oil while in his corner waiting for the start of that fight. 

Rocky ran from an early age. As a boy Rocco was preoccupied with his physical condition. He was undersized for a heavyweight. Rocco’s biggest limitation was arms so short they were almost stubby. Walcott bounced off and threw a hard left hand. At the time many children died of pneumonia, but Rocco eventually recovered, and Lena kept her promise.

Marciano’s determination in the Walcott fight showed the world the new champion’s character and personality. Rocco inherited his father’s toughness, for he survived a deadly bout of pneumonia when he was two.

Everett M. Although he enjoyed being champion, Marciano remained unchanged. Pierino’s exposure to mustard gas during combat changed his life, but not his toughness. Rocky didn’t trust banks, either, so he hid his cash: in the ground, inside toilet tanks, in light fixtures. They had one daughter, but Barbara miscarried when Rocky was away, and wasn’t able to have any more children, although the two did adopt a boy (Rocky Jr.). Rocky was a brawler. Once, as a joke, the reigning sex symbol, Jayne Mansfield, was smuggled into a room where Marciano sat, alone. Anthony for her son’s recovery, promising to give up her diamond engagement ring if Rocco recovered. The sparring film would be spliced together to match the computer outcome of the fight – a closely guarded secret that would not be revealed until “The Superfight” aired in theaters.

After serving as a GI in World War II, Rocco played minor league baseball. There was bad weather and the plane ran low on gas. There would be good food, a nice check for a few words, and still enough time to fly back for his birthday. Or the estrangement may have developed over Rocky’s running, which may have sprung from a preoccupation with money. And Brockton loved him right back, at least in part because many of them became rich betting on Rocky’s fights. 

* * * 

Marciano’s character was on display in his first fight with Walcott, which was a classic. Ali later said that Marciano punched so hard he was sore for days after. He didn’t trust lawyers or accountants, and preferred to deal in cash. At the time boxing was a diversion, a way to make a few bucks to help out his family. Marciano stepped inside and beat Walcott to the punch with a short right hand that traveled maybe eight inches. Rocco was in his twenties, when most fighters hit their peak. Ali complained about his ‘loss’, alleging the computer was made in Alabama. 

Outwardly Marciano’s life after boxing was quite successful – unlike many fighters, he kept his money and his wits. They all lived in a two bedroom apartment. Although he left thousands (some claim hundred of thousands) of dollars stashed away or buried underground, none of it was found to aid Barbara and the children, who were impoverished after Rocky’s death.

Lena prayed to St. The man recovered, but never fought again.

(An experiment was performed on Rocky’s punching power. She and her friends prayed the Rosary at the child’s bedside and waited. She smoked too, and developed a glandular problem. Lena’s doctor said she could have no more children; this put a fine edge on her concern for Rocco’s health.

Not that there is anything particularly Catholic about being a teetotaler.  It’s just that Marciano, though intelligent, was a very simple man who never forgot where he came from. The famous sportswriter Jimmy Cannon observed that Marciano trained “like a man practicing a holy ritual.” Before fights he would slip away to a church or chapel to pray. Yet even after he had enough money Rocky went after more. It hit Walcott’s jaw with the sound of a baseball bat. His wife, Barbara, was unable to have the large family Rocky wanted. Rocky kept coming, even after Walcott knocked him down, closed his left eye, and opened cuts on his face that required fourteen stitches to close.

Rocky was generous with people who were down and out, often giving them unsecured loans that were rarely paid back. Rocco refused but eventually he tired of having his name misspelled and mispronounced, and allowed his name to be shortened to Rocky Marciano. An obituary in his home state of Massachusetts read:

 Which heavyweight boxing champion in the last century knelt on his knees to pray to St. The pilot and his two passengers were instantly killed. He golfed with priests, helped promote parish functions, even lunched with Cardinal Spellman. Life magazine called him “pure of speech” and “a clean living boy.” He was elsewhere described as “astonishingly innocent,” and “totally without deception, totally without guile.” He didn’t drink or smoke; in fact, when a host at a party for Marciano in Brockton offered the champ a drink, Rocky replied, “If you don’t mind, I’ll take an apple.” 

“In this age of the anti-hero and the non-hero, Rocky Marciano was the hero with whom the mass of Americans could readily identify, the hero who surmounted all difficulties by dint of hard work, dedication and perseverance. He  hit his opponents on the break, after the bell, and below the belt. Marciano spent hours at his opponent’s hospital bed, and in church praying for the man’s life. Asked about his reaction when flying shrapnel hit his jaw and snapped off some teeth, Pierino replied, “I just spit them out and kept coming.” 

Maybe Rocky ran to avoid an estranged relationship with Barbara. Augustine before defending his title, and said: “The biggest thrill I could think of would be an audience with the pope?” 

As he continued to successfully defend his title, Marciano gradually drew respect from critics. Walcott’s experience kept Marciano off-balance and sometimes made him look ridiculous. Rocky always apologized, but the fouling continued.

On August 31, 1969, Marciano planned to interrupt his business circuit and fly back to Florida to celebrate his forty-sixth birthday with his family. He was a near-classic example of the triumph of classic virtues (Boston Herald Traveler, September, 1969).” 

He was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano (Mark a-jahn-o) on September 1, 1923, the second son (the first died shortly after childbirth) of Pierino and Lena Marchegiano, first generation Italian immigrants who came to America after the first World War