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Video: A Brief Look Back at Hugh Hefner’s Interest in the Fighting Illini and Boxing

News outlets are covering the late Hugh Hefner’s life from every possible angle today, and while it may be more fun to look at some of Hef’s various other extracurriculars, we’ll stick to sports because that’s what we know best.

Hef was a big sports fan as well as a University of Illinois alum and continued cheering on the Illini even after moving the main Playboy Mansion from Chicago to Los Angeles. The guy enjoyed basketball and football and invited certain Illini squads to the mansion, even leading to a 1980’s theory that the ’83 football squad may have lost the Rose Bowl to UCLA due to too long a night at Hef’s residence.

(This was later debunked, as the team’s actual mansion visit was 11 days before kickoff, but conspiracy theories are always fun.)

Illini football found themselves back in the Rose Bowl in 2009 against USC and once again got the mansion invite due to Hef’s fandom, which he also held for USC according to two of his (many) former girlfriends, Bridget Marquardt and Holly Madison:

(Rose Bowl talk at the 40 second mark)

Hef was also an avid boxing fan dating all the way back to Sugar Ray Robinson’s heyday and was of the opinion too many championships have played a part in diluting the once-revered sport:

R.I.P. to the one man who could make pajamas super fashionable…From all of us at 101ESPN.

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