Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Evel Knievel Set To Take One Last Stab At Killing Himself

This is really something...my childhood hero - Evel Knievel - is getting ready to put on his star-spangled leathers once again and do a jump, at the age of 63. When I was a little kid, Evel was the coolest person on earth. I still have a little die-cast model of his Snake River rocket bike sitting on my monitor.

Evil was the perfect hero for a little boy, for one simple reason: he jumped things - on a motorcycle. More often than not, he nearly killed himself in the process, but he'd go right back as soon as he got well and do it all over again, which, obviously, made him a total god in the eyes of boys everywhere. Evel was a man's man who didn't give a crap about anything except doing his own crazy thing, which often included sailing over rows of buses or flipping his bike on asphalt over and over until he was in a coma for a month.

Now, two decades, 37 broken bones, a divorce, a liver transplant and hepatitis C behind him, Evel's decided it's time to do that "thing" again. The biker legend is planning on a two-hundred foot jump in Primm, Nevada, next spring - set to coincide with the opening of his Evel Knievel Xperience Cafe, a resturaunt offering truck stop food and sporting an Evel theme. The jump would better his previous ones, using a lighter bike and a higher approach speed.

I just don't know if this is a good idea. I mean, Evel, I love you man and I know you're going to do it no matter what anyone tells you, that's just how you are - but this is kind of like when Michael Jordan came out of retirement. You couldn't help but think that Mike wasn't going to be able to live up to his past glories and wonder whether he should be doing it or not. Of course, the worst thing that could come of Mike's comeback attempt was a little humiliation - not massive brain damage and/or death. Still, like I said - Evel is Evel and that's how it's going to be, I'm sure. So good luck, Evel and please don't die. I'm pulling for you, buddy.

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