ESPN Network: | | | ABCSports | EXPN | FANTASY

Bakay's Tale of the Tape:
Soprano vs. Knight

Page 2 columnist

Both intimidate the weak. Both live by a dinged code of ethics. But Bob Knight and Tony Soprano have more in common than meets the naked eye.

They're big, they're angry and they ain't afraid to get physical. Lately, it seems the system is trying to run them out of their respective games, but it ain't gonna be easy.

Bobby vs. Tony. The General vs. the Capo. Let's see how they stack up at the Tale of the Tape.



Signs of respect:   Kiss his ring   Kiss his butt   Soprano
Also known as:   The black hand   "Call me Mr. Knight"   Push
Faints at:  
The sight of meat
The sight of Murray Sperber
You only hurt the one you love:   His own mother put a contract out on him   Separated his son's shoulder on a hunting trip   Knight -- hey, you pop it back into the joint, good as new
Medical conditions:   Panic attacks   Press conference Tourette's   Push
How you know they're ticked at you:  
Flare nostrils, torch your restaurant
Flare nostrils, toss a chair at you
How they relax:   Eyeballing the lovelies at Bada Bing's   Scaring a 54-year-old secretary until she weeps   Soprano
Where they tend to shoot their friends:   Fishing trips   Hunting trips   Knight. Tony's friends don't tend to make the trip back
May soon be exiled to:  
The swamps around the Meadowlands
West Texas
What will get them in the end:   Wire taps   A lack of human decency   Soprano
Yeah, right:   I'm in the waste management business   I'm ready to mold young lives again   Soprano
Willingness to grow:  
Weekly psychotherapy with Dr. Melfi
A three-day anger management seminar taught by Mike Ditka
Acts of treason:   A devoted capo wearing a wire   John Feinstein printing all the dirty words   Push
Compassion:   A sip of Diet Fanta before your blind date with Mr. Lead   A pat on the butt before your date with a chokehold   Soprano
Gambling:   Runs it   Touts it on the Internet   Soprano

So, there you have it. It's all so simple when you break it down scientifically. In a sawed-off baseball bat to the kidneys, the advantage goes to Tony Soprano. Hey, when a member of his crew cripples a guy, he builds the wounded party a wheelchair ramp.

Besides, it's only a matter of time before Steve Alford replaces them both. Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories

tale of the tape 

Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Mardi Gras vs. Final Four

Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Rob Johnson vs. Doug Flutie

Bakay: Deal with the Devil

Bakay's Tale of the Tape:

Bakay's Tale of the Tape: NBA vs. NHL

Bakay: Life without the NFL

Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Super Bowl vs. Survivor

Bakay: Baltimore vs. New York Tale of the Tape

Bakay: Shaq vs. Kobe Tale of the Tape

Caple: Fearless Super Bowl predictions

Bakay: It's OK to cheat

Bakay: Old school vs. new school

Bakay's 2000 unexpurgated NBs

Bakay: The line on prima donnas

Copyright ©2001 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site. Employment opportunities at