Happy 69th Birthday, Muhammad Ali

BY Michael Woods ON January 17, 2011
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Muhammad_Ali_NYWTSA man born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born on  this date in 1942. So I suggest if you are a boxing fan, you go out to a bakery, buy a cupcake, one candle if you don't want to light up 69 of them, light it up, and salute the man we now know as Muhammad Ali.

Because the creator broke the mold when he made this marvel of a man. We will never again see the likes of him, that special concoction of athleticism, and charisma, and charm, and will, and grace, and stubbornness and specialness. He was a product of the times, which were tumultuous and charged, far more so than today even if that is sometimes hard to fathom. The issues of the day helped to forge him, propel him to take stands that were detrimental to his popularity and earning power. He stood up for his race, and aligned with a sect which scared the hell out of the people who stood to buy tickets to see him at work. He stood up for peace, and risked the very real possibility of being assassinated for his cause. He pushed the discussion for equality for blacks, and contributed to civil rights advances. He attracted attention and added some legitimacy to the choice to refuse induction into our war machine, the most high profile celebrity by far to do so. Can you picture a person of such status taking similar stands today?

Tomorrow, check back on TSS; we'll have a report from an Ali insider, one of his posse, who is visiting the Lousville Lip and wishing him well in person today.

Comment on this article

FighterforJC says:

I remember Ali as a guest referee from Wrestlemania I, I was just a little kid, and my dad was commenting how bad Ali looked with his Parkinson's. Ali's about 50x worse today than he was then, but I'm glad he's still around. When he dies it will be surreal. He's just one of those guys that you expect to live forever.

admin says:

He is a stubborn cat. He could well live to 100!

Radam G says:

I'm certain and hopeful that Thomas Hauser will have good news about the GOAT. Yall better quit selling him short. He may just SHOCK DA WIIIIRRRRRLLLLDDDDDDD again! That is RIGHT! The GOAT Ali may just beat Mr. Parkinson's Syndrome Disorder -- knock dat sucka straight out! Next year, the GOAT Ali will be 70 years old -- three scores and a decade. He scored upsets against Sonny "Night Train" Liston and (Rev.) "Big" George Foreman a decade apart. By next year, God Willing, the GOAT is gonna score an upset against this PSD. Then in his 70s, he may just come back, step in dat squared jungle and clean out the chumps perpretrating frauds as heavyweight boxers. From Manila, a BIG Happy B-Day, Champ! I know that you are still full of surprises and miracles. Time to RUMBLE! Young man, RUMBLE! ARRRRRRRRR! Holla!

Isaiah says:

Mr. Muhammed Ali will go down as one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the ring. I am so sorry the way his health is nowadays. The old Ali's self sure does not do justice to what he once was. May he live in as much comfort as he can in his old age. It reminds me when the other all time boxing great Willie Pep, was in terrible health and died in my lifetime. Former heavyweight champion Max Schmelling died in my lifetime to, but only featherweight great Willie Pep would be someone I could mention in the same breath as Ali. It's sure is a shame to see the great detiorate and die off. May Ali live for a long time to go, but may he not suffer like he seemingly has been. Now, please don't hate what I have to say, but Ali is only #2 all time heavyweight on my list. My list goes #1 Joe Louis, #2 Muhammed Ali and #3 Rocky Marciano. Ali ducked no one and beat everyone worth fighting in one of the best eras ever, but I have to keep it real. I think Louis or Marciano could have beaten him on the right night and depending on the situation, maybe Lennox Lewis and both Klitschko brothers. Still, let me repeat myself. I am in NO WAY putting Ali down, but I'm just calling it like I see it. He's still a REAL MAN and WARRIOR until the bitter end and his legacy is one of the best ever. Fair enough? @Editor Mike. "Because the creator broke the mold when he made this marvel of a man." That's an amusing quote coming from you sir. It's alright. ALL people know GOD is fact whether they suppress the truth or not. Okay, relax Mr. Agnostic. I've got to mess with you little bit. LOL!

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