#SportBits … 12 Inspiring Quotes from Muhammad Ali

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We honor the greatest of all time today by becoming inspired by these Muhammad Ali quotes.

The late Muhammad Ali was not only a championship boxer, Olympic Gold medal winner, and civil rights activist, he was also a talented motivational speaker. Throughout his sparkling career, Ali was known for his humorous and positive outlook on life. There is no question his words helped inspire people all around the world.

Here are my 12 picks for the most memorable quotes spoken, and often shouted, by this incredible fighter and activist:

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”
“Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
“The will must be stronger than the skill.”
“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
“My principles are more important than the money or my title.”
“It’s a lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“I don’t have to be what you want me to be.”

Ali died June 3rd from complications due to Parkinson’s Disease. Funeral arrangements will take place Friday, June 10th, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., Ali’s birthplace.

Actor Will Smith and Lennox Lewis will join six other friends and family members as pallbearers carrying Ali’s coffin. Former President Bill Clinton will lead a group of seven persons who will deliver eulogies for the late boxing icon. Lonnie Ali, his wife of 29 years; his daughter, Maryum Ali; journalist Bryant Gumbel; actor/comedian Billy Crystal; King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey are all scheduled to deliver eulogies to help remember and celebrate the life of this great boxing champion, activist and motivational speaker.

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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Vintage Television

 

Fifteen thousand people are expected to attend an interfaith service that will be held at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m. today for boxing great Muhammad Ali. Former President Bill ClintonBilly CrystalBryant Gumbel, and Ali’s wife, Lonnie, will give eulogies. Also expected to speak is Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. The service is open to the public.

NHL:

After wild first period goal-fest in Game 5 in the #StanleyCupFinals, the San Jose Sharks held on to win in Pittsburgh, 4-2, to force a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday.

Hockey legend Gordie Howe died this morning, the Detroit Red Wings have confirmed. He was 88. The Hall of Famer played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. He retired from hockey for good when he was 52.

NBA:

After winning Game 3 on Wednesday by 30 pts. without Kevin Love, a game which they were going to win NO MATTER WHAT, word has it the Cavaliers are wondering if they even need the injured star forward in the lineup for Game 4, tonight. He’s got to pass the concussion test before he’s cleared, which will probably be something like riding a unicycle while explaining the Theory of Relativity. …in Mandarin.

MLB:

The Philadelphia Phillies had the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft yesterday and took this guy. Here is more draft news from Day 1.

Manny Muchado was suspended 4 games for taking a swing and a miss at pitcher Yordano Ventura , who got 9 games for nailing Muchado with a fastball.

NFL:

Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Von Miller could sit out the entire 2016 season. His contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos have hit a snag over what part of the 6yr, $114million will be guaranteed.

#RIPdabbing … Cam Newton announced yesterday the dab is done. We can all go back to living our lives now.

TENNIS:

Rafa Nadal will skip Wimbledon this year because of his recurring wrist injury.

Finally…

Loving the spirit of 7 yr old cancer survivor and Cub fan Beckham Zobrist. Retinoblastoma took his eye, but it couldn’t take his Cub spirit. Check out his prosthetic:

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 7.52.20 AM.png

Ok. That’s it. So now you know…

 

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#SportBits … Monday recap

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As I’m sure you know by now, Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued legendary boxer, who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” died Friday, June 3rd after being admitted to a Phoenix-area medical facility for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old. Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which had slowly robbed him of both his verbal artistry and physical aptitude. I could spend the whole article writing about the Louisville Lip, and what his legacy means, but I already did that over on HerDaily.com … Instead, I’ll let Ali speak for himself. Here is an except from his 2013 autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey:

 “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

 

#SportBits …

NBA: In the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors C R U S H E D the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-77, in Game 2 in Oakland last night. The Warriors lead the series 2-0 heading to Cleveland for Game 3, Wednesday. Warriors’ Draymond Green scored 28 points and Cleveland lost star forward Kevin Love to “concussion protocol.” Here’s hoping LeBron and Co. can GET IT TOGETHER and take care of business at home. I’m not counting him out yet…but … #laststand

TENNIS: I bet Andy Murray is feeling a bit like the Cavs because no matter what he does, he can not beat Novak Djokovic at the Slams. World No. 1 Djokovic beat Murray in four sets at the French Open and became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments. In his 12th appearance and fourth final, the Joker finally captured the one title that has eluded him. Next up: Wimbledon.

On the women’s side, World No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final on Saturday. Muguruza won her first career Grand Slam while denying Williams the opportunity of tying Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight in San Jose. The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the series 2-1. In a nutshell, the Penguins need to capitalize on their speed, and the Sharks need to take more shots! All the while, the beards keep growing…

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.37.21 AMJoe Thornton

MLB: Check here for weekend scores and highlights. In the meantime:

  • Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner REALLY wants to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All Star game. After watching the show he put on at battling practice Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, I can see why. But it ain’t gonna happen…Giant manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t want ANYTHING happening to that arm…or legs…or hands..or … #riskybusiness
  • The LA Dodgers cut ties with  Carl Crawford and must eat the remaining $34.6 million left on the under-achieving outfielder’s contract. That is one expensive meal. #stomachache
  • Those sneaky Dodgers…after being accused last week of using lasers to mark spots on the outfield for defensive purposes, they hoped to supply some sweet music to umpire Joe West’s ears on Sunday. West, the longtime umpire who has two country albums to his credit, was behind the plate for Sunday’s game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Dodger players used his songs as walk-up music for their first at-bats. Hilarious…and what’s even better? It was Chase Utley’s idea. #sneakiest

MMA: I had a ticket dropped in my lap last night to see the Zac Brown Band at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Didn’t know one song, but man, he was good. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Forum hosted UFC 199 where 37-year-old Michael “The Count” Bisping shocked the MMA world by knocking out defending champ Luke Rockhold in the first round. Even more exciting was the announcement that a welterweight rematch between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will headline UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 20. #BookItDano

Copa America: After losing their opening match, 2-0, to Columbia, the #USMST travels to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday. Check here for all results, matchups, and upcoming schedule.

In other soccer news, a federal district court in Chicago ruled in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation, saying the women’s national team is subject to a contract that prevents players from striking. The previous agreement expired in 2012,but, according to U.S. Soccer, it was modified and extended to last from 2013 to 2016. The modification included a no-strike clause. U.S. Soccer brought a lawsuit against the players’ union after the union’s lawyer denied that there was a valid contract and the federation saw that as a threat to strike.  Basically, now that they can’t strike, their bargaining chip is gone in their battle for equal pay.

I’m going to end with more Muhammad Ali. One of the things I remember most as a kid watching Ali was his wacky and unlikely friendship with sportscaster Howard Cosell. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen another relationship like it in the world of sports and sports media. Take a look:

 

Have a great week everyone. Remember to check in with me on social media for scores and highlights during the week, and with #SportBitsDaily for daily news, scores and TV schedules.

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBits … Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued legendary boxer, who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” died Friday, June 3rd after being admitted to a Phoenix-area medical facility for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old. Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which had slowly robbed him of both his verbal artistry and physical aptitude.

“Float like a butterfly … sting like a bee”

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay on Jan. 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali started boxing when he was 12. He went to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where he won a gold medal as a light heavyweight. He turned professional soon afterwards, and won his first heavyweight title by defeating Sonny Liston in 1964. After the 6th round knockout Ali proclaimed, “ I am the greatest. I am the greatest. I am king of the world.”

As Ali’s fame rose, so did his awareness of American racism. He quickly became a voice for social justice and change. He shunned agents and boxing promoters, and instead sought guidance from the Nation of Islam. After securing his first heavyweight title over Liston, Ali formally changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.

Ali’s amazing career was interrupted when he was convicted of draft evasion for refusing induction into the US Army during the Vietnam War. In 1971, after the four-year appeal process, which Ali spent lecturing on college campus’ about American Civil Rights, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction.

Ali soon returned to the ring and one of boxing and sports greatest rivalries was born. At a sold out Madison Square Garden in 1971, Ali fought and lost to Joe Frazier in a 15-round dual dubbed “The Fight of the Century.” It was Ali’s first defeat as a pro. They fought again in 1974 where Ali won in a unanimous decision.

Ali took the title later that year from George Foreman in a fight in Zaire dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.” Employing a new fighting tactic called “rope-a-dope,” Ali knocked out Foreman in the eighth round.

The third fight in the Ali-Frazier trilogy followed in 1975, at the “Thrilla in Manila.” It is regarded as one of the best boxing matches of all time. Ali won in a technical knockout in the 15th round.

Ali successfully defended his title until 1978, when he was beaten by a young Leon Spinks, but he quickly won it back. He retired in 1979, when he was 37, but returned in 1980 for a title match against Larry Holmes, which he lost. Ali lost again, to Trevor Berbick, the following year. Finally, Ali retired for good.

Muhammad Ali was not only known for his skill in the ring, but his way with words outside it. Many saw his outrageous speeches and interviews as bragging and disrespectful to the sport. I say if you can back it up, then it ain’t bragging. And Muhammad Ali always backed it up. Whether he was speaking out on racism, or declaring his greatness, Ali was fearless, and consistently followed through on his promises and convictions. He was one of the most colorful figures the world has ever seen…and he will be missed.

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