A few days ago, the renowned Evel Knievel passed away, seemingly unable to defy the odds one last time. I remember growing up and hearing these legendary stories – heck, I even had an Evel Knievel action figure. I never got to see any of his death-defying stunts, but the stories I heard made me feel as if I had.
I remember some friends telling me some crazy stories they heard – when we were kids, our imaginations were boundless (plus, we’d believe just about anything). One friend even told me that Knievel was planning on jumping his bike across the Pacific Ocean … it made perfect sense to me.
I saw a documentary on the guy this weekend – it was actually pretty good. One thought kept going through my mind – how the heck did he get into this line of work? What prompted him to say to himself, “Hey Evel, I really got the jonesing to jump my Harley Davidson over 15 school busses?” Maybe it was the celebrity and fame, perhaps it was the money, maybe the insatiable appetite for danger, more likely it was because he knew that he’d be able to sleep with just about any girl out there.
Jumping over busses, trailers, cars, and trucks is one thing. Mr. Knievel’s desire to jump the Snake Canyon makes me think that insanity had probably taken over. I saw the footage of this “attempt,” and can’t believe all of the hype this guy got. In a way, it was sort of an early “reality” show. In fact, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a reality show in which stunt men tried to outdo each other … I’m guessing insurance costs would be through the roof. Which brings me to another question – would this Evel Knievel thing even work in this day (First, would there be a market in this, and second, would the insurance risk involved even be worth it?)?
We’re gonna miss ya, Evel!