Muhammad Ali Was Bigger Than Life Before Facebook, Twitter, and ESPN
I woke this morning to the news that we lost a sports legend overnight. Muhammad Ali was bigger than life at a time without Facebook, Twitter or ESPN. He did it the old-fashioned way by being true to who he was and selling it to the masses.
Howard Cosell once told Ali “You’re being extremely truculent,” Ali response, “Whatever ‘truculent’ means, if that’s good, I’m that.” Well truculent is not a good trait, and it was an attempt by Cosell to put Ali in his place, but Ali even managed to upstage the great Howard Cosell.
Love him or hate him Ali stood for what he believed in, and it cost him. He left money on the table, but not fame as he conquered the world. Muhammad Ali was the most recognized person in the world, not because he was a fighter, but because he was Muhammed Ali.
Ali was smart, he punched hard, spoke like a poet, and let other fighter know where they stood. He knew going into the ring that he was “the greatest,” he fought great fighters and some not so great fighters, he even fought the United States government. The government may have won on the scorecard, but Ali won in the end.
In my 50 plus years, I have been lucky to bear witness to greatness, but a legendary figure doesn’t come along very often. We can debate what defines greatness, but legends live on forever in the stories we tell. Muhammad Ali is already legendary, and history will be kind him well even if he was truculent.
So you can love him or hate him, but respect him for who he was, what he believed, and what he accomplished. For me, I will always remember Muhammad Ali for being true to who he was.
“Live every day as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.” – Ali