On July 11, I made my debut on an HBO fight night broadcast, as I took on postfight interview responsibilities following Sergey Kovalev's light heavyweight title win over Isaac Chilemba in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The whole thing was something of a blur: after 24 hours of travel out there, and two days on site, I was on my way back to the United States. But it was a fun trip, and a tremendous opportunity, for which I'm very grateful. Read More
I find myself profoundly saddened by the death of Muhammad Ali at the age of 74. He truly was The Greatest. He was The Greatest not only for his peerless performances in the ring, or for his quick wit and good humor, or for the way in which he transformed showmanship in athletics, or for his later-life humanitarianism, or for the gracious and classy way he battled with Parkinson's Disease. He was The Greatest because, in an era of profound social upheaval, he did not shrink from the challenge of confrontation and principle, but embraced it. He not only touched the third rail, he grasped it tight and dared everyone to pry his hands from it.
I attempted to pay tribute to his life in this piece for Seeker.
If you want to understand why he was so great in the ring, watch what is widely regarded as his most complete performance, against Cleveland 'Big Cat' Williams in 1966.
And for just one example among many of his pop culture impact, here's Johnny Wakelin's musical tribute to arguably Ali's greatest night in the ring:
At least since 2008, however, and arguably before then, ideas have been anathema to the national party. Their raison d'etre has been to oppose President Obama, even when he proposes policies that they had previously embraced; the party of Lincoln now views intellectualism as something to be spurned and mocked, the province of elites who must be overthrown. And yet, in an irony-free effort to excuse themselves from what they have wrought, the likes of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have placed the blame on Obama for the nastiness and emptiness that now courses through their party's presidential campaign. Read More
And then the two months were up and I was told there would be no budget for me to return. And I was sad. But just one day later, that position changed, money was found, I was told I'd be hired through 2016, and I was happy. I'm genuinely thrilled to have this gig back, and am looking forward to writing some fun pieces next year. Read More
So there I'd be, me and a smattering of other freaks, and we'd stand off to the side of the hall while all the dancing and furtive making out was taking place, except for maybe twice during the evening when the DJ would put on some metal. Then we'd shuffle toward the center of the floor, stand in a circle, headbang until the track ended, and then return to our places off to the side. I can't remember what music it would be that they played - probably Status Quo or some such - but I like to picture it being Motorhead. They didn't come any louder than Motorhead, and they didn't come anything like Lemmy, with his Jack Daniels voice shouted into a downward-tilted mic. Alas, Motorhead is no more, after Lemmy died the other day, taking another piece of my youth with it. Rest in Noise.
So we figure, what the heck, I'll just bring it by on Monday when I get back. Ah well, I think, as I set off; it's going to be a little bit of a chilly trip, but at least winter hasn't really arrived yet. But I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm a good 90 minutes into my drive when I suddenly realize that Mickey (or Minnie) was probably in the nest when I turned on the heater, including when Thad and I turned it up to full blast to check it out. In which case, we probably chopped him (or her) up real good. In which case, I'm going to have a cold and stinky journey home. And I am going to have to tip the hotel valet sooooo much money. Stoopid nature. Read More