I took the time to say that because I think it might explain why I find peoples' responses to the life and now the death of Muhammad Ali so baffling. I didn't grow up hearing stories about his achievements and I'm pretty certain I had no idea who he even was until 1990 when I saw the following on tv.
I never had any interest in boxing so any followup information I had about Muhammad Ali I had came in trickles and drips. What I did hear sounded like the life of a man filled with achievement, but also with pride and arrogance. He seemed like any other strutting, unbearable braggart that you often found in sports were in a battle between talent and ego was barely kept in check. In short, I found very little to like about the guy and I never understood the pass he seemed to get from others. He clearly mellowed in his old age but to this day, I don't understand why you would lionize a man who epitomized arrogance and bad sportsmanship. Maybe people tolerated it and even admired him for it because of his achievements, but that's a terrible lesson to teach. As long as you are skilled enough or strong enough, everyone will overlook the fact that you're acting like a terrible human being.