Our Readers' Opinions
June 10, 2016
The Greatest!

Editor: Noms de guerre and sobriquets, no matter their grandeur or lofty claims, save no one from their guaranteed mortal destiny. ‘The Greatest’ has moved on, leaving behind the timeless discussion on sporting greatness. The discussion probably never concerned Muhammad Ali, even when he was alive, because according to him … “I am not the greatest, I am the double greatest!!”{{more}}

He fought in an era when the best fought the best, at their best; not like today, when champions fight shadows of the past. Who are the champions today, anyway? More importantly, do they matter anymore? Ali mattered, because he was David vs a string of Goliaths. Whether it was Sonny Liston, religion, race, the press, Uncle Sam, an enforced three-year lay-off during his prime years, or George Foreman, he won when it mattered. He wasn’t just a sportsman’s sportsman; he was everyone’s sportsman and undisputed world champion. He advanced, to greater and lesser extents, the social, political and sporting dials, not just in his time and space, but spanning eras and continents. That’s what greatness is about. He was not without fault. ‘The Louisville Lip’ once said … a man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20, has wasted 30 years of his life. Who knows what prompted this reflection, but it’s as close as you will get to an admission of imperfection from The Greatest.

Ali joins the pantheon of greats from other endeavours, immortalized in his iconic images, exhilarating performances and memorable quotes. Rest in peace.

The Butterflies and the Bees