I knew little about him. He was, as I explained to my boys, counter-Tebow. That is, he was a phenomenon who rose above the venue in which he performed. That he was a great and talented boxer can't be denied. He also represented that growing movement that was not just content to call out America's sins, but was going to define America by its sins. Which, by my lights, is why we are seeing the erosion of freedoms and liberty and basic morals and order today.
Unlike Tebow, however, Muhammad Ali was on the side of the media, and the progressive movement. He might have performed in a sport universally loathed by most on the Left, but he advanced viewpoints and opinions that were in lockstep with the growing number of media and cultural outlets. And unlike Tebow, who stood against those values and was subsequently skinned because of it, Muhammad Ali was lifted up far beyond that which even the greatest athletes in other sports have been able to enjoy. He was not merely a cultural phenomenon, he became a historical one.
Over the years his time in the ring, as well as other health problems, began to take their toll. I admit, I couldn't help but admire him for his fortitude and determination when he ran the Olympic torch in 1996. You knew then that he had a mettle most people would like to possess. He must have declined in recent years, because I didn't hear much. I'm sure I will over the next few days. It will be lauding and adoration all the way, as it should be. He excelled in his sport, he inspired many to do more than they thought they could do, he rose above adversity and challenges time and again. And for that, he deserves more than a hat tip.
Rest in Peace Mr. Ali. May God bless you and yours with his peace that surpasses all understanding.