If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

"That's the way it is in life and love. If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough."

I'm not sure who penned those words of wisdom. I heard the song in a documentary about Evel Knievel titled "Being Evel." This may sound odd: I knew he attacked a former friend and business partner with an aluminum bat, but I didn't realize he was such a jerk. The documentary reveals his devoted wife was horribly hurt by his serial womanizing. He was notoriously rude to the media and horrible to practically everyone who loved him. Did you know he was an unrepentant a$$ for most of his life?

Regarding the attack on his former friend: Evel had worked with Shelly Saltman on promoting his disastrous Snake River jump. He gave Saltman permission to document the project and write a book about it. Knievel and his attorney approved the completed work, but Evel didn't like how he was presented once the book was published. He tried to kill Saltman with a bat. In the documentary, Saltman spoke with forgiveness for Evel Knievel and said he hopes people remember the man for his accomplishments, not his failings. I don't think Knievel ever apologized to Saltman. Could you forgive a person who tried to kill you?

To me, Evel Knievel was known more for his spectacular crashes than for successful jumps. However, many extreme sports icons say without Evel, there would be no extreme sports. He was, and still is, viewed as a hero by many. Do you enjoy watching motorcycle daredevils?

Evel was dumb in many ways, but he was also an innovator, visionary, exceptional showman, and successful. Whether selling insurance, selling motorcycles, or putting butts in the seats to watch his jumps, he was legendary. Did you know seven of the top ten highest-rated episodes of ABC's Wide World of Sports were Evel Knievel events?

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel died in 2007 at the age of 69. During his final pain-filled years he reached out to many he had treated badly to apologize for his behavior. Some forgave, for some the wounds were too deep. Has a person who wronged you or treated you horribly ever came back to you years later and asked for forgiveness?

01/08/2016 Celebrities 1747 19 By: UpstateSC


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By: UpstateSC