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Thread: Muhammad Ali documentary by Ken Burns

  1. #1

    Muhammad Ali documentary by Ken Burns

    For anyone that does not already know, Ken Burns has released a comprehensive four part documentary on the fascinating life of Muhammad Ali. You can stream it online at the PBS website, and local PBS stations are airing it over the next couple of weeks at various times.

    Whether you are a boxing fan or not, it would be harder to find a more iconic character of the 20th century than Muhammad Ali, especially for those of us that lived through the 60s and 70s. I don't think we'll ever see another quite like him.
    There are dozens of documentaries about him, but I would say Ken Burns' work is probably the best I've seen.

    He touched a lot of lives in various ways. Anyone here have a Muhammad Ali story to share?
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 09-23-2021 at 12:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    I grew up admiring 2 men. Both were heavyweight boxers, my Dad and Ali. My Dad boxed while in the US Navy and in some county fairs. My Dad detested Ali and his boxing style. He and I argued endlessly. I never did see the intelligence in standing in front of another muscle bound man and letting him pound on you. In my unqualified opinion, Ali's "rope-a-dope" brought on, if not dramatically influenced his medical conditions later in life. I still admire those two deceased men.


    I record all 4 of the shows.
    Ken

  3. #3
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    I've recorded them and plan on watching over the weekend. Anything by Ken Burns is worth watching several times.

    This pic by Neil Leifer is what got me started taking sports photos for the newspapers. Still my all time favorite sports shot. An interesting aside about this pic is that the guy I circled between Ali's legs was one of Leifer's main competitors.

    2021-09-23_11h24_10.jpg
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carey View Post
    I've recorded them and plan on watching over the weekend. Anything by Ken Burns is worth watching several times.

    This pic by Neil Leifer is what got me started taking sports photos for the newspapers. Still my all time favorite sports shot. An interesting aside about this pic is that the guy I circled between Ali's legs was one of Leifer's main competitors.

    2021-09-23_11h24_10.jpg
    Bill,
    The photo you shared is definitely the more famous of Neil Leifer's Ali work. My favorite lesser known one is below, from the 1966 fight between Ali and Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams, which many people believe showcased Ali's skills at his absolute prime. He was on another level that night. Leifer's overhead camera angle and square composition is genius.

    4091.jpg

  5. #5
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    You know how you have those memories that stick with you through your life.....like where you were when you heard that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated or 9/11? I was raised by some parents who were against using profanity in any way. My mom died 3 years ago and I can say I can't remember ever hearing her use profanity and I gave her plenty of reasons to use it as a teen. In 1964 I was playing the part of Pappy Yokum in a HS operetta "Lil' Abner". The Clay-Liston 1 was in progress. I went into the bandroom across the hall from the stage after leaving my most recent scene to see how the fight was going. A beautiful senior girl (I was a lowly freshman)was sitting a stone window sill listening to the fight on her 9V transistor radio (remember those?). As I entered the band room, she jumped down, threw the radio on the floor and shouted "That XXX TKO'd Liston!". It was the first time I had ever heard a woman use profanity!

    PS...she didn't use XXXs or abbreviations!
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 09-23-2021 at 4:04 PM.
    Ken

  6. #6
    Thanks Edwin. I will watch that.

    "Muhammad. Muhammad Ali.
    He floats like a butterfly - stings like a bee.
    Muhammad, the Black Superman.
    Who calls to the other guy
    I'm Ali. Catch me if you can."


    I didnt agree with everything he did, but he was someone I admire and I mourned his passing. Rest in Peace Mr. Ali. I hope you and Howard Cosell are having a ball together.
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 09-23-2021 at 9:20 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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    The Burns documentary was great, but utterly heartrending to relive Ali’s decline. I was born, raised and lived in Chicago until 1978. One day I was downtown, walking on State St. when out of a small haberdashery came Muhammad Ali flanked by two other men. I stopped dead in my tracks and exclaimed, “Muhammad, you’re the greatest!” He smiled, shook my hand, put his other hand on my shoulder and wished me well. The encounter lasted less than a minute. I’m not a hero worshipper, but it remains one of the highlights of my life. One of the few public figures whose passing made me truly sad.

  8. #8
    He had a lot of glory , women , and kids , was generous with all of them. Wanted to be the greatest ,and made it. He didn’t die in a shooting or bar fight. He made himself what he wanted to be, and knew he would pay a price.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    .....
    He touched a lot of lives in various ways. Anyone here have a Muhammad Ali story to share?
    Early '90's I was attending a math conference in Minneapolis. I and a couple of colleagues were waiting to be seated outside of a restaurant in Mall of America. A group of BIG men walked to the door of the adjacent book store and stood over a young woman as she fiddled with some keys. Another, smaller group arrived, including Muhammed Ali. He was there for a book signing. He saw us gawking and started a conversation. Upon learning we were math teachers he told us how important we were, and had his people snap a picture of us before the signings.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  10. #10
    Thanks!!! I agree; will check it out.

    There was a documentary many years ago called “When We Were Kings” which was fantastic too - about Ali and Forman’s fight in Africa.

  11. #11
    I always like this photo of him. Read Elvis wanted to learn to box and Muhammad said forget it you are too pretty. Hard to see but Elvis's (grammar) knuckles are up from push ups in Karate and Muhammads are off the map. Well more than any roofer ive seen.

    cap.jpg

  12. #12
    Haven’t seen that Ali and Elvis pic before. Good reporting Warren!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Velasquez View Post
    Early '90's I was attending a math conference in Minneapolis. I and a couple of colleagues were waiting to be seated outside of a restaurant in Mall of America. A group of BIG men walked to the door of the adjacent book store and stood over a young woman as she fiddled with some keys. Another, smaller group arrived, including Muhammed Ali. He was there for a book signing. He saw us gawking and started a conversation. Upon learning we were math teachers he told us how important we were, and had his people snap a picture of us before the signings.
    He said in an interview that he told young men who aspired to be boxers “That only one in a million make it big, learn a trade or go to college as a backup plan.” Good advice for young people of any era.

  14. #14
    that photo came from this you tube of them wanting to meet each other. That was easy to find. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0bz52T__SU

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    that photo came from this you tube of them wanting to meet each other. That was easy to find. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0bz52T__SU
    Thanks. I enjoyed that!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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