Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Greatest Has Fallen

The year 2016 continues to be hell on icons.

Some people remember him as that D-Con Fogger pitchman.

Others remember him from Saturday cartoons.

Others remember him from the movie starring Will Smith, or the When We Were Kings documentary.

Others still remember him from his moment in the sun at the 1996 Olympics, his body shaking violently from Parkinson's, as he held aloft the Olypmic torch.

Some still remember him as Cassius Clay, the young man who won the Light Heavyweight Boxing gold medal in the 1960 Olympics.

But for those who saw him fight in the ring, he was always Muhammad Ali, The Greatest.

And if you didn't think he was The Greatest, he would tell you he was. And use poetry to back it up. Yeah, and his fists, too.

Ali knocking down Sonny Liston in 1965.
From The Guardian.

But Ali finally succumbed to a respiratory ailment overnight, and died at the age of 74. I'm certain that Parkinson's disease, that he battled for over thirty years, helped do him in.


Back when boxing was found on national television --without the need for pay per view-- Muhammad Ali conquered the media. As the undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Ali was more than just a celebrity. He had a quick and sharp mind, using it to recite his own poetry and to comment on all sorts of things. Oh, and to also get into the heads of his opponents.

He was past his prime when I was a kid, and my first memories of him were that of a poster child for staying on longer than he should have. Thankfully, time has erased those last years of his boxing career, focusing instead on his finest moments in the ring. And his humanitarian efforts.

Muhammad Ali was one of those larger than life personalities that you simply never forget.

Rest in peace, Ali.


  1. I love Ali - if anyone wants to witness what courage looks like, look no further than the first and third Ali-Frazier fights. Those two men were superhuman.

    Rest in peace, champ.

    1. Absolutely. I know that the Chuck Wepner fight was the inspiration for Rocky, but the more I've thought about it the more I think that the Rocky/Creed fights were a mashup of both Wepner's and both of Frazier's fights.