Sunday, April 08, 2007

Influences

It is April in Texas and I have an inch of ice on my deck. I got back from Europe on Thursday evening and have yet to get on the bike. I had it all planned out for Friday, but got a call from daycare in morning that The Bug was sick and needed to come home. Saturday and today it has been sleeting. Tomorrow looks to be shaping up ok, so I should be able to get back to riding.

While on the flight home on Thursday I had a lot of time to think. I thought a cool post would be to identify the athletes and celebrities/characters who have had either a positive or negative impact on my athletic activities and manliness. Some are before my time but I am a bit of a sports historian. So, here they are in no particular order:


Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali - Because he absolutely was the GREATEST OF ALL TIME.


Eddy Merckx - if I need to explain this one to you, you shouldn't be reading this blog.


Florence Griffith-Joyner - Because she was the most graceful athlete I have ever seen.


Dick "Night Train" Lane - Because he was one of the best Corner Backs in NFL history. Because he mastered the clothesline tackle. And Because he had the best nickname in the history of sport.


Kobayashi - Because this dude can eat 54 hotdogs and buns in 12 minutes and still weigh 150 pounds.


Dave Stoller - Because he showed me what it meant to be totally committed to a hobby. He also showed that sometimes our heroes are not heroes at all.


Jonah Lomu - Because during my 4 years of college rugby he was the best player on the planet playing for the best team on the planet (New Zealand All Blacks)


Julie Furtado - Because she was the first person I have ever seen absolutely dominate a professional sport. She was a woman amongst girls prior to her illness.


Secretariat - Because his win by 31 lenghts in the 1973 Belmont Stakes may be the greatest performance by man or beast in sports history.


Steve Prefontaine - The story of his death taught me that sometimes life just isn't fair.


Ric Flair - Because he was a Wheelin', Dealin', Woman Stealin', Limousine Ridin', Jet Flyin' Son of a Gun. WHOOOOO!


Thomas Hearns - Because he wasn't afraid to lose. He fought all the great fighters of his time and brought his best game. His loss to Marvin Hagler was one of the greatest fights of all time.


Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs - Because they showed me that the good guys don't always win.

8 Comments:

Blogger bluecolnago said...

i agree that cassius clay was the greatest of all time, as much for his moral courage as for his boxing ability. they don't make 'em like that anymore.

peace out, yo!

4/8/07, 8:41 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

How about me??? I could inspire you to not be afraid of the cold - hahaha


I like your list

4/8/07, 8:59 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Sorry to hear about the cold temps. On the news this morning they mentioned snow in Texas today. One tolerates pain much better when they can share it with others!

Ali was the first of the star atheletes; a showman and a self-promoter extraodinare who could back up his mouth with his actions. Quite a few atheletes today should thank him for being a ground breaker and learn a few lessons from him at the same time.
When you read about Merckx history on a bike it makes Lance seem like a boyscout trying to earn a merit badge in cycling by comparison.
Night Train Lane; the Night Train Necktie! He was a Lion and played in the days when they were NOT the laughing stock of the league.
I LOVE "Breaking Away". My mom went to Indiana University and took me down there for the race one year and I was hooked. A little known fact: The woman used to have to race separately on tricycles.
I met Julie Furtado in 1993 at the now defunct Shanty Creek NORBA race. That was the year she won everything and really put women's MTB racing on the map. She was so down to earth and stopped to talk to my daughter at that event while practicing for the downhill. An accomplished skier prior to becoming the women's World Champion. D_ickheads T.O. and B. Bond's could take a few life lessons from a real athelete's athelete like Julie.

4/9/07, 5:13 AM  
Blogger Pete Basso said...

Chris - you've got to check this guy out http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/32688_wolfe26.shtml

He has been a cycling inspiration to me for years. When you read this you'll see that even Eddy Merckx has nothing on this guy...I promise!!

4/9/07, 7:22 AM  
Blogger sydney_b said...

Great list, Chris. Feeling inspired for the week, now.

4/9/07, 8:29 AM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Great post! But, Secretariat???? Nah. Seabiscuit's the man, hands down.

Welcome home! Hope your Bug shakes the nasty bug fast!

4/9/07, 12:15 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Blue - Agreed

Michelle - your tubing adventure has inspired me for sure.

Oldman - The Night Train Necktie could remove your Adams Apple. That dude was an animal. Will Detroit ever have a good team again?? I didn't know about the tricycle thing. HA!

Pete - They must have yanked the story. The link doesn't work.

Syd - I am inspired by your recent shredding of the MTB world.

Eclect - Sea Biscuit was a mule compared to Secretariat. :)

4/9/07, 6:14 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Hey, don't badmouth The Biscuit. He's my hero.

4/10/07, 6:25 AM  

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