Wednesday, October 28, 2009

thirty 4 thirty: Muhammad and Larry (also the football and Michael Jordan, yep, I'm a ramblin' man)

my dvr inexplicably stopped recording the first airing, then the crappy Tuesday night college football game postponed the ESPN2 second airing but finally I got to see this week's installment of 30 for 30. boxing. (I hope that football doesn't go the way of boxing as Malcolm Gladwell has predicted. I like football a lot, it's my favorite sport, and I wish I could've been around when boxing was as big as football is now.) documentaries like this remind me of that time when boxing was huge, they also remind me of why boxing isn't huge anymore. if Gladwell's right then it's fights like Ali/Holmes that doomed boxing as a national pastime. this episode of 30 for 30 was really good, maybe the best in the series so far, but it also reminded me of another boxing documentary that was amazing and really opened my eyes to who Ali was.
Thrilla in Manila HBO documentary is everything you ever needed to know about boxing- the spectacle, the politics, the manipulation, the frenzy, and some boxing. Muhammad Ali was not a likable person. watch either of these documentaries and you'll know what I'm talking about, but that's after the fact and years into his reign as our greatest living athletic treasure. bleh. there's no arguing the fact that at his best he was the best fighter but man, at any point he was the worst everything else and this is what brings me to Michael Jordan. how will history remember him? after his HOF speech people started calling him everything but evil (YouTube). I just wanna know if that is the makeup of a champ? was Jordan just the second coming of Ali? heck, now I'd say maybe Kobe is in fact the second coming of Jordan after all we know about him (Kobe) and his personality... quirks. (Lebron doesn't have it in him to be the next Ali or Jordan, he's too nice a guy.) so how will we think of Jordan in the next 30 years? will we forgive (or forget) his many downfalls and only remember him as the greatest or will remember the whole man? it's obvious to me that we've compartmentalized Ali, I'm just not sure that that's the right thing to do. oh the drama of sport

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