The tributes are pouring out for Muhammad Ali, who died last night at age 74. I recommend perusing the links in this tweet from The Ringer
+ the two links I tweeted in reply to that tweet + pretty much Dave Zirin's entire timeline
, but especially his eulogy
Naturally, one of my favorite stories I've seen in the past 24 hours came from Mike Royko, published March 7, 1971, in the Chicago Daily News. The column, "Barrow, Cream, Marchegiano, Smith, Who?" explored the long history of prizefighters changing their names, and the indifference and acceptance of sportswriters for each of them until one Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Royko's column ran the day before Ali's fight against Joe Frazier, his third fight following his three-year suspension from boxing
for draft evasion. Ali was 29-0 and the undisputed heavyweight champion before he was stripped of his titles and suspended. In 1970, with Ali suspended, Joe Frazier won the vacant WBC belt.
When the two men fought, Frazier was 26-0 and Ali was 31-0...
We’ll be back this Wednesday with a new Chicago journalism People With Passion with Jonathan Eig of Chicago Side, and since I am about to head out to, in the approximate words of Pete Venkman, “Get crazy in the streets of Chicago,” I figured I would take a moment to bang out a terrific Royko... Read more »
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you to Dan, Dot, Chris, Katie, Jen, L.A., Xack, and of course Jimmy for making Eye On Chi great in 2011. I’m taking a week off from my Chicago journalism People With Passion series, which will resume January 11 with the Reader’s Ben Joravsky. For now, I wanted to leave everyone with a... Read more »
Happy Friday Chicago media mavens! Today’s Eye On Chi spotlight flashes on our pal Rick Kogan and his 2006 ode to Billy Sianis, Sam Sianis, Mike Royko, “Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger!” those wonderfully depressing Chicago Cubs, several goats, and yes, a tavern — a tidy piece of prose called A Chicago Tavern: a Goat, a Curse, and... Read more »
After 191 games, 183 starts, 6 Pro Bowls, one Super Bowl appearance, and countless unnecessary roughness penalties, Olin Kreutz’s days as a Chicago Bear have come to a close. Many of Kreutz’s fans, from teammates and coaches to Bears fans at home, are mourning the close to the #57 era. A column from Dan Bernstein... Read more »
Greetings readers! I am pleased to welcome you to Eye on Chi, our new media criticism and appreciation blog, only at ChicagoNow. Here at Eye on Chi, our staff will guide you every day to the best and worst of Chicago media, sharing with you our favorite writers, reporters, and broadcasters in the city. Join us... Read more »