"That was always the difference between Muhammad Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn't entirely conquer - he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation."--Hunter S. Thompson

In a day and age where most men are, for a lack of a better term, pussies, it is easy to forget what real men use to be like. Men who were rough, tough, oozed sex appeal, banged all the chicks, were full of piss and vinegar, and weren't afraid to fight for what they believed in. The guys in Motley Crue were real men. Mike Tyson was a real man. John Wayne was a real man. And Muhammad Ali was a real man, for better or worse.

He lived a controversial life. He ditched his given name of Cassius Clay to join the Muslim religion and became Muhammad Ali. He dodged the draft, got stripped of the World's Heavy Weight Title, and was sidelined for the better part of his prime. But through all the controversy and hate, he stayed true to himself to become the most polarizing, respected, and influential figure in all of sports.

He is the only first and only 3-time Heavy Weight Champion of the world. In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC. And earned his title of  "Greatest of All Time" in and outside the ring.

Sure, Ali had his moments of stupidity and ignorance (Like EVERY other 20-some year old kid with a chip on his shoulder). He cheated on his wife. He nailed countless groupies. He made racist comments like calling Joe Frazier a "Gorilla". He made every kind of mistake a man can make in life. However, and this is characteristic that makes Muhammad a great human being, he was man enough to own up to his mistakes and he never tried to act like anyone other than himself.

On his 70th birthday, he should be remember for what he was and that is a real man. He fought with the baddest of the bad (and for the most part won), he stayed true to himself, and most importantly he always took a stance for what he believed in and stuck to his guns for better or worse.  He should be celebrated for not only being a great athlete but for being an amazing man.

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