T Nation

RIP - Evel Knievel, Age 69



'Evel Knievel, the hard-living motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.'

I've no idea how he survived all those crash landings. He thrilled viewers and annoyed doctors and own bones. A real T-Man with big balls and not so big brain. My words don't do this man justice hence here's a quote from WWTDD.COM - The ultimate celebrity gossip blog.

'I know any given X-Games will have faster bikes and sicker stunts and higher air, but this dude would jump insane shit with a ramp built from plywood and guesswork on a bike about as powerful as a modern toaster. That's why his jumps rarely worked and he failed so often, so magnificently. Todays equivalent would be like if you taped some bottle rockets to your shoes and then jumped off your roof'.



I loved Evel Knievel when I was a kid.

The guy had balls no doubt and blazed the trail for all future daredevils.


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I had that picture of him standing on the seat doing the wheelie as a poster about 35 years ago.


My favorite book as a kid was one about evil knievel's attempt to jump over the Snake River. I still have scars from my own attempts to jump over stuff on my Huffy. He was one crazy bastard. I think I know what my 2008 halloween costume is going to be. I wonder where I can find a star spangled jumpsuit and cape.


I saw that Snake River Canyon "jump" live and remember it like it was yesterday. ABC's Wide World of Sports. That day was definitely the agony of defeat, but the ironic thing is if the wind would have been blowing the other way he would have made it.


[i][b]Jim Rome[/b]: So what did you think your chances [of jumping the Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered bike] were?
Evel Knievel: Fifty-fifty.
Jim Rome: Fifty-fifty?

Evel Knievel: Fifty-fifty. The rocket had been designed by Bob Truax Jr., an egotistical know-it-all little bastard who was one of the engineers at NASA who was there when they burned Gus Grissom to death on the launch pad. He built the parachute so that it absolutely would fail under the G-load. But the way I see it: If I had made it, no one would've cared. If I'd died, they would've said, "Well that's what's supposed to happen to daredevils." Here it is thirty years later and I don't see no bunch of Daredevils lining up to take a shot at it.

Jim Rome: So if you had a fifty-fifty chance, a coin-flip's chance to survive, why did you do it?
Evel Knievel: Do you know who the hell I am?[/i]

"Do you know who the hell I am?" -- One of my all-time favorite quotes.