Puberty, a futile attempt at Rogaine, 150 pounds and three cavities ago - when I was 12 - my inability to awaken from a deep sleep led to one of the most traumatic events of my life.
It was Monday, April 6, 1987, and at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler were preparing to enter the ring for the World Middleweight Championship.
You remember the backstory: the beloved Leonard had been retired for a few years, and the shaved-headed Hagler was at the top of his game - a killer in boxing trunks.
At the Dinan household in New Canaan, Conn., the fight warranted a rare expenditure on Pay-Per-View - itself a technological marvel at the time. My father boxed as a middleweight in the Marines, and one of the early sporting lessons he taught my brother and me (also a traumatic event) came one summer afternoon out in the yard when he refereed a three-round bout between us.
My mom had bought the boxing gloves at Schatzo's store in her hometown of Belmar, N.J., where we were all visiting her parents. Her own father was a boxer, a middleweight and champion of his barracks in the U.S. Army.
The fight with my brother was a draw.