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Gatti, McNair murders: Thin line between love and hate
Gatti, McNair murders: Thin line between love and hate
July 12, 2:08 PM by Michael Marley
Arturo Gatti wore his battle scars like a proud warrior (AP Photo by Mary Godledski)
The violent deaths of NFL quarterback Steve McNair and boxing idol Arturo Gatti, both recently retired professional athletes not yet 40 years old, would have hardly surprised English poet and playwright William Congreve.
Although he is almost always quoted as saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” Congreve did author the sentiment in a slightly fuller form.
But we’ll get to that.
Oh, you might want to know that Congreve, a lifelong friend of author Jonathan Swift dating back to their Trinity College (Dublin) years, died five days short of his 59th birthday, not from any violence committed by a femme fatale but of internal injuries suffered months before in a carriage accident.
McNair, according to Nashville police, was shot and killed while sleeping on a couch by his 20-year-old mistress.
Despondent over her discovery that this married man, celebrated as a force in civic and charitable circles, had other female playmates, Sahel Kazemi killed McNair and then turned her gun on herself for the classic murder-suicide case.
The ex-Tennessee Titan quarterback was just 36.
Boxing idol “Thunder” Gatti, who could seemingly sell out Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall while shadow boxing, was 37.
Prime suspect in his murder in a seaside hotel room in Pernambuco, in the northeast part of Brazil, is 23 year old “hottie” and Brazilian citizen, Amanda Carina Barbosa Rodrigues.
She was married to the boxer from Montreal who boxed out of jersey City, NJ, and they and their 10 month old son were on a trip described as “a second honeymoon.”
Some honeymoon for Gatti as murder was the case.
Brazil’s lone boxing superstar, Acelino “Popo” Fretias, told Globo, which seems to own nearly all of the media outlets in the far flung country, that there was trouble in the marriage and talk of separation or divorce.
Freitas, who had Gatti as a guest at his birthday party last year in Brazil, also said that Gatti had a drug problem he was dealing with. Persistent rumors of Gatti using cocaine have swirled about the fighter for a long time.
There are also reports that Gatti chided his wife for dressing too sexily when they went to her homeland and that she would get insanely jealous if he spoke with or flirted with other women.
Local police are carefully testing a bloody purse strap found near where Gatti was found, They said the floor around him was bloody and that he appeared to have been hit in the back of the head and then strangled.
Like McNair, Gatti’s end may have come while he slept off a booze binge. His wife said they had argued in a bar on Friday night and the hard partying former fighter returned to the hotel quite drunk.
I never knew napping could be so dangerous.
Everyone who knew and observed Gatti knew he was a devil may care type who loved his drink and frequently visited topless bars.
“Arturo fought hard, he partied hard and he just lived hard,” promoter Lou DiBella told me Saturday night. “Arturo lived his life going 140 miles per hour.”
Jealousy was apparently the main motive in McNair’s murder and is a likely motive in Gatti’s gruesome demise.
Is there a lesson to be drawn from both their untimely ends?
I don’t know, I won’t moralize without real, hard facts and I hesitate to judge another. Maybe that’s why I really don’t care for jury duty.
But the murders of McNair and Gatti, both seeming to be “Good Time Charley” types, are a different story than the recent apparent suicide of all time ring great Alexis Arguello. Truth be told, throughout his life Arguello seemed to be bothered by mental demons of different sorts.
Arguello may have taken his reasons for ending his life to the grave with him.
And Arguello was 57, young by today’s standards, but he could look back at a full and accomplished life in boxing and politics. He was the mayor of Managua, Nicaragua, when he evidently shot and killed himself.
Which brings us full circle back to wordsmith Congreve.
The man actually authored three expressions which have stood the test of time.
Per Wikipedia, they are as follows:
Two of Congreve's turns of phrase from The Mourning Bride (1697) have become famous, albeit frequently in misquotation:
• "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," spoken by Almeria in Act I, Scene 1. (The word "breast" is often misquoted as "beast".)
• "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," spoken by Zara in Act 3, Scene 2. (This usually appears as "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned")
• "Liberty is the soul's right to breathe, and when it cannot take a long breath laws are girded too tight. Without liberty, man is a syncope."
Again, I don’t what moral conclusions can be drawn here.
Let me add the reminder as on “Cops,” that Gatti’s wife is innocent until proven guilty.
Still, she does not seem to have an alibi and the marital discord could have been her motive.
But, having live a lot more years than McNair and Gatti, I’d say the lethal combination involved in both of their terrible departures are alcohol and that green-eyed monster, jealousy.
Congreve had it right when it comes to a woman scorned. I also harken back to "Thin Line Between Love And Hate," as first sung by The Persuaders in 1972.
McNair and the younger waitress turned mistress, there was a thin line.
Gatti and the much younger wife, there was a thin line.
Kazemi crossed that line. So did, from all appearances, Gatti's wife.
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