ABC's Monday Night Football, Boxing, Howard Cosell, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Sports

I’d Have Been Nothing Without You ……….


  
 

I’d   Have  Been  Nothing   Without  You !  

 

 

 

 

It’s  often  been  said the   relationships   and  friendships   one has  can  clearly  define  us  as  a  person.   And  in  some  instances  it  is  true.   Though  for some   it  hasn’t  always  been  the  case.     One  relationship  that  I  genuinely  believe  was  something   built   out   of  mutual  respect  and    in   some  cases  one   built   out  of    adoration   if  nothing  else.   Well  it  was  the  friendship  that   was  cemented   between   renowned   broadcaster   Howard  Cosell  and   former  heavyweight   boxing   champion Muhammad  Ali.   

 

 

Howard  Cosell   seen  here  with  Muhammad  Ali  at  the  coverage  of the  1972 Munich  Olympics.
Howard Cosell seen here with Muhammad Ali at the coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Ali playfully mocks Cosell while picking something from his head. picture appears courtesy of afp/ David Thornton......

 

 

 

Though  the   two  on the  face  of  it   had  nothing   in  common  .  Heir’s   was   a    friendship   that   at  times  bordered  on  that  of   father  and   son.  Whilst   there  wasn’t   often   obedience   being  conveyed   by  way  of  their   interaction.  It  has  to  be  said  that  their   friendship   was  something  that   played   out  as a  comedic  farce  that   was   genuinely  entertaining .   Though  at   times    it  was   Cosell   who  became  the   butt  of   Ali’s   jokes.   And   Cosell  willingly  abetted   Ali  in  the   joviality .  If   nothing  else  it   made   for   great   television   and   the   viewers  and  fight   fans    lapped  it   up  for   all  it  was  worth.  And   most    certainly    the  interaction  between  the  two  made  Ali’s   fights  all  the  more  pleasurable  to  watch.  The   publicity  gleaned   by   way  of   the  hype  and  that  of   Cosell   wanting  to  be   part  of it  all  was   merely  nothing   more than  a way  of   selling  a  bout.  

 

 

Ali  seen  here  with  daughters  Maryum,  Rasheeda  and  Laila .
Ali seen here with daughters Maryum, Rasheeda and Laila . picture appears courtesy of si/getty images/ Michael Bell ..................

 

 

The   bouts   themselves   were   memorable   in  more  ways  than  one .   If  it wasn’t   Ali   being   the  consummate   showman    describing  how  he  would  either  be   knocking   out   his  opponent   whilst   also   mocking  them.   Then  it  was   also   about  Cosell   ,  himself.  He  often  interjected  himself   into  the  show.  If   for   nothing  else   other  than  wanting  the   public   to  know  that   it  was  he  ,  Howard  Cosell.  Who  was  the  person    being  the   ring master    bringing   us   the   indomitable   Muhammad Ali.  Cosell   was  absorbed   in  his   own   self   importance   but  he   also    could   be  passionate   about  things   he   felt  were  undignified  and   socially  immoral.   

 

 

Ali  playfully  avoids  a jab  from  Wilt  Chamberlain  during  the  taping  of  a  television  show.  Chamberlain  at  the  time  wanted to  meet  Ali in an  exhibition  bout.
Ali playfully avoids a jab from NBA player Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt at the time wanted to meet Ali in an exhibition bout. He was also seriously considering taking up the sport of boxing, seeking to become a professional. He tried to lure Ali into meeting him in a proposed bout where both men would each receive $1m for the undertaking. picture appears courtesy of corbis. D Bettman .....................

 

 

 

And  nowhere  was  this   more   apparent   than   when   he   came  to  the  support  of  Ali.  The   boxer’s   treatment   at  the   hands  of  the   government  after   his   refusal   to  enter  the   military   during   the  Vietnam   War  saw   Cosell   openly   come  out   to  criticize   administration  at  the  time.  He  fully  supported  the  fighter  and  in   his   cause   made  it  known  to  those   who  were    prepared to  listen.   Though  it   had  to  be  said   he  had  his   detractors   for  taking  that   particular   stance.  But  at  the  same   time   one  has  to  admire   someone  who’s  prepared to   go  against   public  opinion   and   forsake  friendships  along  the  way.

 

 

Don  Meredith  seen  here  with  Cosell  (center) and  Frank  Gifford.  The  three  would  become  the  main anchors  for  ABC's  Monday  Night  Football.    The  show  came  into  being  in  1970.
Don Meredith seen here with Cosell (center) alongside Frank Gifford. The three would become the face of ABC's Monday Night Football during the early seventies. The show came into being in 1970. picture appears courtesy of corbis/ D Bettman .............

 

 

Though  Cosell  was   known  primarily   for   his   broadcast  commentary   provided  for   ABC’s  Monday  Night  Football. At  its  inception in  1970,   he  would   be  working   alongside   Keith  Jackson  and  Don  Meredith.  Frank  Gifford  would   join  the   team  later  in  1971 after the  departure  of  Jackson . Cosell   carried   out  other   duties   for  the  network.    He  wrote  several  books  and  his   long  standing   relationship  and  marriage to  his  beloved  wife  Mary  Edith   Cosell. “Emmy”  to  those who  knew  her  best   and  their   marriage  that  stood   for  over   forty  five years.  

 

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