Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Merry Christmas From The Champ

by 'Mean' Mike Duffau (writer), I'm the boss!, December 26, 2007


I gave the champ a Christmas call.

I gave myself a Christmas present by calling my childhood hero, Jake LaMotta to see how he's doing. I took an advice from Ed to keep calling the champ every now and then just to keep tabs on him.
Jake at his age forgets who I am and I have to kind of refresh his memory. It doesn't bother me none because like I said before in my other LaMotta article... We hardly ever get those chances to talk to our childhood heroes.
I bet you're wondering why in the hell would you have a guy like Jake LaMotta as a hero? Well, to tell you the truth I find alot of the behavior issues similar as myself. When I first saw the film back in the day, I felt weird. I never laid a hand on my girlfriends, but I drilled them with questions of paranoia to the point where they got tired of me... Things like that, and most of all the temper which gets in the way of my thinking and usually reacting first before reasoning.
Next step, I had to read the book, Raging Bull. The times in which he lived does not compare to my life or come even close, only the thick-headed stuff. When people had a chance to come face to face with the champ, they usually say that he's a jerk. But you have to go beneath the surface. He has a sense of humor, and he tells it like it is. Most folks don't like the truth and he comes out with it, like myself. He never gives me an attitude cause it takes one to know one. Simple.

I called the champ on December 24th 2007. The conversation is as follows... Enjoy!

Me: Hey champ! How's it going? This is Mike Duffau, I'm Harry's stepson.
Jake: Who's stepson?
Me: Harry, you know the guy that works downstairs in your building.
Jake: I don't know him by name, maybe I know him, but I don't recall. What can I do for ya? What can I do for ya?
Me: I just wanted to wish you and Denise a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jake: Ok, that's very nice of ya, same here.
Me: Thank you! Did you get my Christmas card?
Jake: I don't... I don't care... She handles everything.
Me: You probably don't remember but I came to visit you around your birthday, and we talked a little bit and stuff like that. And I said the next time when I came to visit you I want to take you and Denise out to dinner.
Jake: Why?
Me: Like I said before, you're my boyhood hero.
Jake: Don't go through all that trouble cause we rarely ever do that.
Me: Is that so?
Jake: Yeah, cause so many people want to do the same thing. If you do it for one you gotta do it for everybody.
Me: Oh, I understand. That probably happens alot, I didn't know that.
Jake: Oh yeah, I'm wanted all over the world they calling for me.
Me: They still do huh, champ?
Jake: Ahh!
Me: They still do that huh, champ?
Jake: Yeah, it gets boring after awhile, you know.
Me: Really!
Jake: yeah!
Me: Even if you pick your favorite restaurant and I pay for it. I'd like to take you and Denise out.
Jake: Don't go through that trouble. Don't go through that. Really, I appreciate it, but I can't do it.
Me: ok.
Jake: Thank you... Have a good holiday! Thank you very much.
Me: ok, hey champ! Can I ask you one more thing?
Jake: What?
Me: Do you mind if I call you once a month to keep in touch with you?
Jake: I can't do these things. If I do it for one I gotta do it for everybody.
ME: Ok, I understand champ.
Jake: Ok, have a good life.
Me: Hey, take care champ. Thank you for talking to me.
Jake: ok, bye.
Me: Bye bye.

Jake LaMotta is a product of his time. One can't blame him for the way he is. I don't take it personal because it's always a thrill to chat with him, regardless of what mood he's in. It's still a pleasure to call even though I'm nervous as hell.
Be on the lookout for more future telephone chats with the great Bronx Bull.

About the Writer

'Mean' Mike Duffau is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on A Merry Christmas From The Champ

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on December 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm
hey ed! you were the one to give me the inspiration to keep callin' the champ. once a month i'm gonna call him and report it on here. yes, i do record the conversations. a documentary sounds like a great idea! thanks ed!!!
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By Steven Lane on December 26, 2007 at 11:47 pm
Nice article champ, I had no idea he was still with us. you should tape the conversations, great stuff down the road.
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By Glenn T on December 27, 2007 at 11:53 am
Great Stuff Mike - These connections with our past heroes are both entertaining and instructive. I didn't grow up on Jake, but after reading your pieces, I wish I had.
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By icanluvulongtime on January 02, 2008 at 06:47 pm
From what I have heard, that sounds like him. Funny stuff and priceless. I have the utmost respect for those who 'tell it like it is', even though they may be living in a different universe. Good job staying in touch with him, if he remembers you or not really isn't the point at all.
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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on January 02, 2008 at 06:55 pm
hey thanks for all your kind words of encouragement to keep tabs with the champ.
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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on January 04, 2008 at 03:59 pm

that's why they call it...the sweet science!

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