Saturday, June 4, 2016
HE STUNG LIKE A BEE & BECAME THE GREATEST
This generation has no idea just how good Muhammad Ali was. But the truth was, in the world of boxing, there was no one, and I mean NO ONE better and it's very possible that there will never be.
Muhammad Ali was confident and cocky and delivered every single time he was in the ring. As an athlete, there was no doubt that he could destroy anyone he faced and for a long, long time, he did.
His mouth yapped a lot, but when you saw what he could do, the way he moved, the way he delivered a punch and got right down to business... it was jaw dropping because he was so damn agile.
Ali never gave up on himself, ever. It's funny, as a baseball coach, I like to inspire youth and offer quotes from famous ballplayers and it gives my players something to think about when they're out there on the field. But I make exception for 2 non-baseball player quotes every time. Vince Lombardi and Muhammad Ali.
That's because greatness was in both men. That's because there was courage and unwillingness to lose in these men that I see much more clearer than others. And so, when we have a game, I show up and post my lineup, you may see a quote from Ali hanging right above it and the kids will read it and run their fingers over it as they go collect their helmet and bat.
In this generation, boxing isn't what it used to be because there is no one that comes close to the person and athlete Ali was. His presence was enormous. While he decked his opponents, they respected him and loved him immensely because he was so damn incredible.
Ali died on Friday from complications of Parkinson's, and with that, sports loses the most unbelievable icon ever. That's truth. He never took 'no' or 'loss' for an answer. He inspired many to push themselves to another level. He demonstrated that while cockiness may not be a trait many of fond of, if you put your money where your mouth is and deliver what you preach, you will be respected, because that's not bluster... it's confidence.
I was never a huge boxing fan... but how could you NOT be a huge Ali fan. If you've never seen the man fight, watch him on YouTube. You will be Wowed.
Rest in peace, old friend. You've inspired a generation, teaching many to take risks while building courage, and throughout it all, you became the greatest athlete, not only in boxing... but in sports...ever.
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