Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Champ

Today is Muhammed Ali's 65th birthday. He's one of the people I've most admired and truly deserves his title as "The Greatest"; not just for his skill at his chosen craft, but for his strength and compassion as a person.

It's almost impossible for those who weren't alive at the time of his refusal to fight in Vietnam to understand how stunning and powerfully influential that decision was and how much it almost destroyed his life. But he triumphed in the end and made things better by standing up for what he believed in. Along with other athletes of his time like Jim Brown, his life examplified the courage of his convictions. If you haven't seen it already, please take a look at a brilliant documentary entitled "When We Were Kings", you won't regret the experience.


Anonymous said...

Or check out ALI by our lord savior Michael Mann.

blueglow said...

Don't know if "compassion" is a very accurate description of Ali -- who could be awful mean when he wanted to (he derided Liston as an ape and he could trash talk with the best of them) -- and I think his fall and the whole Parkinson's thing has done a lot to humanize him.

that said, one of the interesting things when watching "Kings" is how all these years later the roles of the two principals have reversed.

Foreman was the big black subliterate and Ali was the smart talking God.

Now George is one of "America's most lovable black men" having done sit-coms, chat shows, infomercials while Ali, through no fault of his own has been rendered mute