[Ads-l] FW from Barry Popik: Muhammad Ali quotes (plus Drew Bundini Brown & Gary Belkin)

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sat Jun 4 14:43:33 UTC 2016

Barry Popik, compiler of the extraordinary website barrypopik.com, sent me a message
this morning with a cc. to several other ads-l members.  I now share it with the entire
Btw, if Barry's contributions to the study of English were ever organized and
 published in book form, the resulting volumes would likely fill an entire bookshelf.  

Gerald Cohen 

From: Barry Popik [bapopik at aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2016 2:28 AM
To: Cohen, Gerald Leonard
Subject: Muhammad Ali quotes (plus Drew Bundini Brown & Gary Belkin)

Muhammad Ali died. Time to take a look at his quotes. 

--Barry Popik 
"Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up"
This has to be better than 2002.
"Fight of the Century"
Ali-Frazier at Madison Square Garden, but it was used for Jack Johnson much earlier.
"Just because you beat the man, it doesn't make you the man"
Referring to Ken Norton's victory over Ali. Norton didn't become the man.
"Never hook with a hooker"
Joe Frazier threw hooks.

"Don't count the days, make the days count"
Before Ali's time.

"Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion"
Ali in 1978. Popular on gym posters.

"It's the punch you don't see that knocks you out"
Not really Ali, but used by his trainer.

"Let's get ready to rumble!"
Not Ali's trademark saying, but Ali did say 'I'm ready to rumble!"

G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time); "I am the greatest"
You could do a whole column just on this one.

"They talk about me like a dog"
Ali, but also used by President Obama.

"Ropers and Dopers"
A Texas saying, somewhat of a cowboy takeoff on Ali's famous "rope-a-dope."
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
Perhaps written by Bronx-born Gary Belkin? Drew Bundini Brown?

Drew Bundini Brown (March 21, 1928 – September 24, 1987) was an assistant trainer andcornerman of Muhammad Ali,[1] as well as occasional film actor. He was portrayed by actors Bernie Mac and Jamie Foxx in the films Don King: Only in America, and Ali respectively.

Brown was also one of Ali's speech writers. He wrote certain poems, including that which coined Ali's famous and oft quoted:
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.
Ali used the poem to taunt Sonny Liston at the press conference prior to his February 25, 1964 victory over the WBA and WBC champion to claim both titles.[1]

Gary Belkin, 78; Emmy-winning comedy writer
August 9, 2005
Gary Belkin, an Emmy-winning comedy writer who worked on hit sitcoms and classic television shows, including Sid Caesar's "Caesar's Hour," "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Sesame Street," has died. He was 79.
The Bronx, N.Y.-born Mr. Belkin died July 28 in Los Angeles of emphysema, according to his friend, Mona Charles.
He also wrote poetry for Muhammad Ali.
Columbia Records hired Belkin to work on an album of poems said to be written by Ali. Belkin was listed as producer but said several times that he had actually written many of the poems, which were intended to be part of the buildup to the fight with Sonny Liston in 1964.
On the record, Ali told listeners to expect "a total eclipse of Sonny" and wrote, "Here I predict Mr. Liston's total dismemberment, I'll hit him so hard he'll wonder where October and November went."
George Plimpton, who knew Ali and wrote about him, and David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker who published a biography of Ali in 1998, publicly questioned how many of the poems Belkin wrote. Plimpton said he had witnessed Ali write a poem. Remnick said, "There's no doubt that Ali wrote a great deal of what he recited."
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list