Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Ali took 'cups of love, one teaspoon of patience,' etc.

(Credit: Watchdog)

I wrote a mixed mini-review in my Friday newspaper column on a show on Sunday on NBC in which the network trots out some old footage of sports "icons."

The friendly p.r. people sent me an extremely detailed transcript of the highlights.

I assume I'm allowed to share it with you.

Click below to read it in case you'll be busy analyzing the Titans' draft picks at 5 p.m. Sunday and thus unable to watch.MUHAMMAD ALI

Ali on avoiding the draft: "If America was in trouble, if America was really at war and the country's in trouble and I'm in trouble I'd be first to fight."

Ali to Joe Garagiola on his education: "I went to 12th grade in school but actually I have about a 9th grade education. I don't read that well but I have common sense. The schoolteachers mainly passed me because I was an Olympic champion. I have common sense but I am not that learned on paper."

Ali on how he'd like to be remembered: "One who took a few cups of love, one teaspoon of patience, one tablespoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. Then you mix it up and stir it well. Then you spread it over the span of a lifetime and you served it to each and every deserving person you met."


From the 1985 NBC SportsWorld Special "The Great Communicators of Sports," in which NBC Sports won the National Headliner Award for Sports Journalism, America's most famous sports broadcaster, Howard Cosell, tells NBC journalist Pete Axthelm about his first live interview with Fidel Castro on February 12, 1978 in Cuba during a USA-Cuba boxing match:

Cosell on interviewing Fidel Castro: "We started doing the interview and we were talking about the role of sports in Cuba and suddenly I hear from my producer in the truck, 'cut him off and throw it to Jim McKay and speed skating in Lake Placid.' I thought, 'good lord, I'm not going to do that. I can't do that to this man, I'll get crucified.' Suddenly, crawling on the floor is our chief technician was pulling the mic from me, pulling on the wire. I could see Castro looking and wondering what's going on. Finally I said, 'El Comandante, I have no recourse, I've just received word that I must throw it to Jim McKay and speed skating in Lake Placid.' We were five hours detained in the airport because somebody in the truck ordered me, with the technician pulling the microphone from me, to throw it to Jim McKay and speed skating in Lake Placid. The television industry (shakes his head)."


Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron was featured on "The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola" and in the Tom Brokaw documentary "The Long Winter of Henry Aaron" as he was approaching – and then surpassing – Babe Ruth's home run record of 714. "Icons from the Archives" will relive those historic moments through Brokaw's conversations with Aaron in October 1973 before he reached the record, and through Garagiola's one-on-one interview with Aaron after he hit home run 715 to surpass Ruth's record. Highlights also include the NBC News Special Report that broke into a daytime soap opera when Aaron hit his 714th home run, a lighthearted song by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jack Billingham pleading "Please Don't Hit It Off Of Me" referring to the record home run (Incidentally, Aaron did hit his 714th home run off Billingham) and Aaron playing the role of sportscaster calling his own 715th home run.

Aaron on if people wanted him to break Ruth's record: "There are an awful lot of people in my corner that want to see me break the record. There are an awful lot of kids that want to see me go out there every pitch and hit a home run. When the opposing pitcher walks me, they're booing him. But for as many that are pulling for me, there are a lot that don't want to see this record broken."


The segment features WNBC reporter Tony Guida's interview with Joe Namath about former Jets owner Sonny Werblin from a feature that aired on "NFL '78" pre-game show in which Namath talks about being drafted by the Jets, his industry-changing salary and his "Broadway Joe" days with the New York Jets.

Namath on his "Broadway Joe" image: "It is me, that's my life. I enjoy being with happy people. I enjoy seeing smiles. I enjoy going out and visiting. What people may not have realized at the time, coach Eubank always did, was I always got my seven or eight hours of sleep. We didn't have to be at the stadium until noon."

Namath on receiving an offer from Werblin: "The first thing was an offer from him that was above and beyond anything I had ever heard of in pro football...he said, 'I don't want to quibble over money, I want you to come to New York and play for us and this is what I'd like to give you to get you to New York'."

"Icons From The Archives" will also feature the memories and comments of current sports icons, as they reflect on what these American legends mean to them. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter recalls the first time he met Henry Aaron, Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning talks about Namath and their connection in quarterbacking New York football teams to Super Bowl upsets. NBC Sports' Bob Costas talks about the first time he met Cosell and boxer Roy Jones, Jr. gives his thoughts on Ali.

Jeter on meeting Aaron: "In 1999 we were in Boston at the All-Star Game and they had all the great players on the field, and someone tapped me on the shoulder and it was Hank Aaron. He said, 'I was looking for you. I always wanted to meet you.' I was like, 'you wanted to meet me?' this is Hank Aaron. It was a dream come true for me to meet him but I will always remember that moment."

Manning on similarities with Namath: "I guess being from New York and being the underdog and going into a game where not a lot of people gave you much respect or gave you a shot to win and to kinda go out and prove a lot of people wrong links us together. I don't think I'm 'Broadway Eli by any sense, but I think there's a connection."

Costas on meeting Cosell: " I work up my nerve and I extend my hand and I say, 'Mr. Cosell, my name is Bob Costas and it's a pleasure to meet you.' He says, 'I know who you are. You're the child who rhapsodizes about the infield fly rule. I'm sure you'll have a fine career.' And he turned and walked away. And because it was Howard Cosell, I was greatly amused and oddly honored by the encounter."

Tags: bob costas , nbc

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