After Muhammad Ali‘s heartbreaking death Friday night, we went digging through the WoW vault and discovered some long-lost, never-before-seen gems concerning the champ that we thought we’d share with you.
Now, when I tell you that I care not ONE WHIT about sports stories or sports heroes or sports ANYTHING, really, but that I was absolutes RIVETED to these two pieces – you KNOW they must be good. They’re both from Esquire’s 80th – a two-hour documentary we did for the Esquire network that explored the magazine’s iconic coverage of politics, war, fame, sports, technology, and style.
The piece below details the making of the shocking 1968 cover of Muhammad Ali as the martyred St Sebastian, after his titles were stripped from and he was vilified for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. The behind-the-scenes finagling to get the shot was legendary, and worthy of its own documentary. Watch it below.
The second video clip features legendary Esquire journalist Cal Fussman reminiscing about the life and legacy of Muhammed Ali, as well as the time he spent with the champ personally (including a harrowing story of getting in the ring with him). It ultimately wasn’t included in the doc, so this is the first time these stories are being told ANYWHERE. And again, you don’t have to be a sports fan, or even a Mohammed Ali fan to appreciate Cal’s passionate storytelling. I urge to give it a listen.