Professor Richard Rosol
English 200: Sports Literature
06 March 2013
The Many Views of Cassius Clay
Muhammad Ali has said to be one of the greatest boxing champions in the world. He has numerous fights against many great opponents. However Ali is seen in many, many different lights. Many may see him as an overly confident person which could come off as cockiness and some that have spent time with him see him as a good guy all around. The 6 articles about Muhammad Ali that are in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century will have many different ideas of who Muhammad Ali was and is as a person and a professional boxer. The first short article on Cassius Clay: The Champ and the Chump by Murray Kempton doesn’t have the same personal feeling as some of the other articles that I’ve read from the book The Best American Sports Writing of the Century. The language in which Kempton chose to write it is straightforward and just delivers the story. You almost don’t want to like Clay because he just seems like a regular guy who thinks he is better than everyone. Within the first paragraph Kempton writes: “ I am the greatest, I am the champ, he is a chump” (699). From that statement, Clay comes off as a very cocky person and he maintains that same characteristic throughout the article. However, when I read the second to last paragraph when Clay said: “I told ye’. I just played with him. I whipped him so bad and wasn’t that good. And look at me: I’m still pretty” (701). As cocky and rude as it was for him to announce that- he did win the fight fair and square so Kempton gives you the feel that it’s ok and he is entitled to say that. Murray Kempton doesn’t position himself in such a way where I get the feel that he knows Clay very well. It comes across more, like Kempton is just a writer reporting to get the story done. He doesn’t dig much into Clay’s life or background. There’s no feeling towards Clay, he just came to fight and talk and that is...
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