Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Boy Of Montana

My second choice for greatest athlete of the 20th Century has been Evel Knievel. Mohammad Ali was the greatest fighter and Bill Russell won more NBA championships, however the Butte, Montana native rode a motorcycle like a demon and refused to quit no matter how badly he had broken body. His public expected nothing less from a man who was fired the Anaconda Mining Company for attempting wheelies with an earth mover. Evel might have gotten away with this stunt, if the truck hadn't knocked down Butte's main power line. He changed his name to Evel after a night in the Butte jail for a wild motorcycle chase. According to the night jailer came around to check the roll, he noted Robert Knievel in one cell and William Knofel in the other. Knofel was well known as "Awful Knofel" ("awful" rhyming with "Knofel") so Knievel began to be referred to as Evel Knievel ("Evel" rhyming with "Knievel"). He was not a simple man as shown by this quote; "You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself." Evel Knievel was a lucky lucky man. I couldn't find a wheelie of an earth mover, but Evel didn't do everything for the camera. He did them, because 'I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.'

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