Daily Archives: January 17, 2012

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. The great Cassius Clay turns 70. And a wild ending to a middle-school basketball game you’ll want to see.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., I give you the “I Have a Dream” speech, which ought to be required viewing for all Americans. I heard one of the GOP presidential candidates (I think it was Ron Paul) invoke MLK’s legacy in a debate Monday night and I wanted to throw up.

The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali used to call himself. “I’m a baaddd man,” he also said.
Of all the athletes I wish I had the chance to watch live as a sportswriter, the former Cassius Clay is the one I most wish I had the chance to see. The charisma, the personality, the attitude, and the incredible skills in the boxing ring.

I just think it would’ve been wildly entertaining being around him. From everyone I’ve read who was there and covered him, my hunch is correct.

My all-time favorite Ali story is this:  One day in his prime he was on an airplane and before takeoff,  the flight attendants walked by to make sure all passengers had their seatbelts on.
“Superman don’t need no seatbelt!” Ali bellowed.
“Superman don’t need no plane, either,” the flight attendant replied.

Today, Muhammad Ali turns 70 years old. He’s in terrible health now, of course, beaten down by years of abuse in the ring. But he’s still with us, and I hope somewhere today he’s having a happy birthday.

**OK, it’s pretty rare that anyone would want to see footage of a middle-school basketball game not involving a relative. But check out the crazy last 15 seconds of this game from Hilton Head, South Carolina…

That kid who hit the winning shot is so getting asked to the 8th grade Sadie Hawkins dance.