Rumble in the Jungle....

  • October 30, 1974

    Kinshasa, Zaire

    The Rumble in the Jungle - Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman

    Foreman was 40-0 going into that fight. He looked unstoppable. 37 KOs. This was the fight when all the Ali-haters came out of the woodwork and loudly proclaimed that Ali was finally going to receive his “come up-ens.”

    I was at the fight. No… not in Zaire. In an arena watching on closed-circuit TV. The crowd was loud and aggressive. It was a pro-Ali crowd. The fans were amazing. They saw Ali getting killed on the ropes and it looked like doom and gloom for Ali. No one understood Ali’s sneaky strategy; lay on the ropes and block most of Foreman’s shots; wear him down, and then step on his throat later. It worked perfectly, and in Round 8 Foreman had nothing left in his tank. He was first hit with his own exhaustion and then it was followed up with Ali combinations.


    We played a perfect “rope-a-dope” game last night. I still wonder if all of those really stupid dunk attempts were just part of the Riverboat Gambler’s game plan. In the end… I believe those SportsCenter blocked shots by Konate actually worked to our favor by turning up the emotional juices with all the WVU players! I’ve watched the game twice now and paid attention to all the Mountaineer excitement! Man… did they buy in or what? They had a lot to prove last night. This is supposed to be THEIR year to knock Kansas off the throne. They are still feeling the pain of their blown win in AFH last year.

    With 6 minutes left in the game, WVU was far more exhausted than Kansas. All their guys were holding their knees. It reminded me of Foreman, when Ali started to turn the corner by nailing George with a monster counter punch in the 7th round. George took a huge breath of air… like he couldn’t breath. That was the sign Ali was looking for.

    Go back and watch this game again. Look at the body language on both sides. We looked beat until the game was close to the end… then suddenly, WVU looked beat. Even Huggins gave off bad body language. He knew he was going to lose at that point, or at least, he could feel something coming.

    This was a great win! We needed it to increase our chances at #14. And we are starting to look like a unique Kansas team that plays better on the road than at home. It seems like we have too much pressure on us at home.

    Congrats to our troops! This was the first time our guys really stepped up at the end and started playing more like men than boys. Watching this team transform, and watching the individual players transform, is quite a thrill! Thank you, men… and thank you, Muhammad Ali!

  • @drgnslayr

    Float like a butterfly Guard like a Hawk!!

    It was the most startling power transfer I have witnessed in basketball.

    I have witnessed many great come from behind victories, but I have never seen look as intimidating and dominant as WVU, turn around and look almost submissive.

    KU ‘ s players were just mentally tougher.

    WVU got demoralized by their bad shooting, whereas KU just kept struggling through the misses until they blew the lid off!

  • I have to confess… that I have high admiration for Huggy Bear. He is one helluva coach. True HOFr!

    But we had this same turnaround last year in AFH. Actually, more extreme.

    I’m starting to think Bob needs to work on his body language. He sure could use some “Riverboat Gambler” theatrics. When WVU starts their big falls, Bob must be telegraphing something that his players vibe in on and they continue to fall. You can see he is taking those moments and trying to teach out of them when they really need to be COACHED through those bad periods.

  • I’m not a fan of Huggins, personally. He is a classic bully on the sidelines, constantly berating the refs and complaining about calls… always the victim, his team is. I’ve never seen refs so afraid to make calls as when watching Huggins teams play. They tend to swallow their whistles and allow a ton of arm slapping at the ball, which they end up letting go. Huggins complaining rubs off on his players and they complain to the refs constantly on the floor. Huggins is also a sore loser as he’s shown so many times throughout his career. Even last night he had a sneer for Legerald Vick in the handshake line. Not an ounce of class in Huggins. He has to play the gimmick style of pressing, ala Mike Anderson, because of his inability to coach the game any other way. He doesn’t value the offensive prowess of a well-coached big man. As a result, he will never attract a NBA caliber big man to WVU as long as he stays with the press Virginia gimmick. The dude’s just bad for the sport of basketball. I think Bill Self buddies up to him because Bill knows how to beat guys even before they play. Sort of like Bill coaches his bigs to score before receiving the ball in the post.

  • @SlickRockJayhawk

    I respectfully disagree. Huggins is a great coach, only 2 active coaches (Coach K and Boeheim) have more wins than he does and he did it at non-elite programs with less than elite players. You just don’t win that many games at any level unless you are a superior coach.

    Granted, I don’t care for his style of play but when you don’t have the players you would like, you have to make do with have you have and has made the best with what has had. Coach K complains and berates officials even more than Huggy and his players are every bid as rough/dirty and nobody seems to complain about him because he coaches a blue blood programs and wears a suit to games. Huggy is the blue collar version of many of the so called top coaches who he has frequently out-coached them. He has definitely been good for the conference and has manage to give KU fits.

    Self and Hugging are by far the top coaches in the conference with Kruger in pursuit and Beard showing great potential.

  • Boeheim, K, Huggy, Calipari: successful coaches who are jerks

    Self, Few, Roy, Kruger: not jerks

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