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The One Stock Evel Knievel Would've Loved

If you grew up in the 1970s, like I did, you remember motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.

The guy was the dean of showmen - with the patriotic-schemed white jumpsuit, the matching cape, and the walking stick he carried for effect.

But he also was gutsy as can be.

I especially remember one film sequence - it may have been on ABC's Wide World of Sports - that was a compendium of his jumps, all shown in awesome slow motion. The takeoffs were breathtaking - truly. But some of the landings made you cringe: The bike would land wrong, the front wheel would start wobbling... and, before you knew it, cycle and rider were violently separated.

Thinking about that film, and looking again at the quote I used to launch today's column, I can say with confidence that Knievel wasn't merely a great showman.

He was also a pretty sharp guy.

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