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  • Bolt / Ali

    Lots of threads and postings about Bolt's antics during the 100 meter finals. Most likely Bolt doesn't care what you or I or an old guy named Rogge think of him... when he destroyed the field and obliteratred history on the greatest stage in sports he automatically reached an iconic stature that only a disastrous scandal could negate. As time passes his display will be part of his legend and eventually no one will fault him.

    Consider Ali: currently universally revered cultural hero, Olympic torch bearer, and for many years the most widely known person on Earth. Anyone like me old enough to recall Ali's ugly, taunting behavior toward opponents before, during and after bouts? Add his religious conversion and caustic social commentaries and Ali became one of the most reviled figures of the 1960's, at least in mainstream America. If you are good enough and display some humor about yourself, all is forgiven in time.

    Could Usain become the New Ali ?

  • #2
    Re: Bolt / Ali

    Originally posted by jhc68
    Lots of threads and postings about Bolt's antics during the 100 meter finals. Most likely Bolt doesn't care what you or I or an old guy named Rogge think of him... when he destroyed the field and obliteratred history on the greatest stage in sports he automatically reached an iconic stature that only a disastrous scandal could negate. As time passes his display will be part of his legend and eventually no one will fault him.

    Consider Ali: currently universally revered cultural hero, Olympic torch bearer, and for many years the most widely known person on Earth. Anyone like me old enough to recall Ali's ugly, taunting behavior toward opponents before, during and after bouts? Add his religious conversion and caustic social commentaries and Ali became one of the most reviled figures of the 1960's, at least in mainstream America. If you are good enough and display some humor about yourself, all is forgiven in time.

    Could Usain become the New Ali ?
    No.
    • 1) The Freak Show is not American.
      2) TFS has not taken a moral stand on one of today's controversial social/geopolitical issues.
      3) TFS is not reviled with anywhere near the same intensity that Ali was, or MLK either for that matter.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bolt / Ali

      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
      No.
      • 1) The Freak Show is not American.
        2) TFS has not taken a moral stand on one of today's controversial social/geopolitical issues.
        3) TFS is not reviled with anywhere near the same intensity that Ali was, or MLK either for that matter.
      1. Immaterial. GOATs transcend national borders
      2. Neither had Ali at that age.
      3. It's not necessary for someone to be reviled to become an icon. Cal Ripken was never reviled. Bolt's antic are youthful exuberance, and only old geezerly fuddy-duddies have a problem with him. :wink:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bolt / Ali

        Originally posted by Marlow
        Originally posted by jazzcyclist
        No.
        • 1) The Freak Show is not American.
          2) TFS has not taken a moral stand on one of today's controversial social/geopolitical issues.
          3) TFS is not reviled with anywhere near the same intensity that Ali was, or MLK either for that matter.
        1. Immaterial. GOATs transcend national borders
        2. Neither had Ali at that age.
        3. It's not necessary for someone to be reviled to become an icon. Cal Ripken was never reviled. Bolt's antic are youthful exuberance, and only old geezerly fuddy-duddies have a problem with him. :wink:
        1) I thought jhc68 was talking about the likelihood of TFS redeeming himself in the eyes of mainstream Amercians (whatever that means), not GOATness.
        2) If you're only talking about Ali's public stances when he was 22 years old, then technically, you're right, but I was thinking more like 20-25 year old. However, Ali did convert to Islam when he was 22.
        3) Again, I thought jhc68 was talking about redemption. But you're right, it's not a prerequisite for a person to be hated before he/she can become an icon. However, I wouldn't put Ripken in the same class with Ali, but that's just me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bolt / Ali

          Originally posted by jazzcyclist
          However, I wouldn't put Ripken in the same class with Ali, but that's just me.
          Yeah, Cal and Ali can't exist on any scale of commonality. Ali's iconity was the assertive rebel who wouldn't be shut up (which was also the reason so many did not like him). Cal, like the other Cal, Silent Cal Coolidge, became a symbol of quiet dignity and purposefulness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bolt / Ali

            Originally posted by Marlow
            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
            However, I wouldn't put Ripken in the same class with Ali, but that's just me.
            Yeah, Cal and Ali can't exist on any scale of commonality. Ali's iconity was the assertive rebel who wouldn't be shut up (which was also the reason so many did not like him). Cal, like the other Cal, Silent Cal Coolidge, became a symbol of quiet dignity and purposefulness.
            Fair enough. But Ripken had no impact on society away from his sport the way Ali did.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bolt / Ali

              Originally posted by jazzcyclist
              Ripken had no impact on society away from his sport the way Ali did.
              You jest, of course. He is one of THE modern symbols or perseverance, dedication to excellence and quiet dignity!! He is still revered by millions! Sadly, Ali, to many, is just the old shaky guy that lit the torch in LA 84.

              Comment


              • #8
                It was Atlanta 96.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bolt / Ali

                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                  Ripken had no impact on society away from his sport the way Ali did.
                  You jest, of course. He is one of THE modern symbols or perseverance, dedication to excellence and quiet dignity!! He is still revered by millions! Sadly, Ali, to many, is just the old shaky guy that lit the torch in LA 84.
                  We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I guess these type of things are in the eye of the beholder.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I admire Cal Ripkin, Jr. but no body outside the United States has ever heard of him. Bolt is already way more well-known world wide.

                    I don't believe a person needs to be reviled to become a social icon... it's just that if you make a big enough splash then being obnoxious can actually enhance your status in the long run. People get nostalgic and the arrogance of youth becomes remembered as charming exuberance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bolt / Ali

                      Originally posted by Marlow
                      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                      Ripken had no impact on society away from his sport the way Ali did.
                      You jest, of course. He is one of THE modern symbols or perseverance, dedication to excellence and quiet dignity!! He is still revered by millions! Sadly, Ali, to many, is just the old shaky guy that lit the torch in LA 84.
                      Perhaps. Still, Ali is a household name around the globe, while Ripken is an unknown outside the baseball world. No comparison.
                      "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                      by Thomas Henry Huxley

                      Comment

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