Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thomas William McNeeley Jr., 1937-2011.

There's a nice obituary in "The New York Times" today of an ex-heavyweight boxing contender, Tom McNeeley, who lost in four rounds to the lightning-fast Floyd Patterson almost 50 years ago in December, 1961. (The Times assigns obituaries to some of their best writers--it's something to do during down periods, and thus, their obits almost always contain some bit of humor or wisdom in addition to chronicling an interesting life.) You can read McNeeley's obituary here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/sports/tom-mcneeley-contender-for-heavyweight-title-dies-at-74.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries

Here's the bit that got me and got me thinking about how to succeed against all odds. It comes from Patterson, a man hardly noted for his glibness or wit. After knocking McNeeley to the canvas 12 or 13 times and knocking him out completely in just four rounds, Patterson had this to say this about his battered opponent."Nothing McNeeley did in the ring surprised me except getting up every time I knocked him down.”

Getting up every time you're knocked down.

A lesson for all of us.

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