Sunday, June 5, 2016

45 years ago, the U.S. Army & Muhammad Ali...

This last Friday, June 3, 2016, "The Greatest" died. My only link to him was like the millions who were watching or listening to him as he fought Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden in New York City 45 years ago. Despite what the poster states, it WAS broadcast on radio. Return with me now.
By Steve Crum

On March 8, 1971, I was temporarily living in a wooden barracks at Fort Dix, New Jersey--waiting along with a hundred other soldiers to be flown to Germany the next day. New Jersey was snowy and cold. Many of the guys in the barracks had their transistor radios on that evening--so many one could hear the live play-by-play of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier "Fight of the Century" a hundred yards away from our barracks door outside.

It was a huge event in American culture. This bout between Ali and Frazier was the first time two undefeated boxers fought each other for the heavyweight title. Ali lost after 15 rounds, his first professional loss.

I am not a boxing fan--then or now, but that event gave me and my fellow soldiers a welcome diversion from the anxiousness of traveling to the unknown abroad as well as our shared homesickness.

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