Kate Meckler On The New England Patriots and Muhammad Ali and the Rope A Dope

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Watching the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl on Sunday was incredibly exciting! It almost seemed that the Patriots planned a strategy whereby they laid back and let the Atlanta Falcons think they were going to have an easy victory. This reminded me of the time the great Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman for the heavyweight boxing title back in 1974. The fight took place in Zaire in Africa. The temperature at fight time was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Muhammad Ali allowed George Foreman to control the pace of the fight for 8 rounds.

Ali stayed on the ropes and covered his torso and face as best he could with his arms and gloves. Foreman attacked relentlessly. He pummeled Ali with hundreds of body blows. Most of the blows were absorbed by Ali’s arms and gloves. Those watching. I have read, presumed that Ali would be knocked out at any moment during the first 8 rounds. BUT, starting in the 9th round Ali took the offensive and went after George Foreman with a great fury.

Foreman was so exhausted he could hardly defend himself and shortly thereafter Ali knocked out George Foreman and became heavyweight champion of the world. Does this remind you of the New England Patriots victory this past Sunday? Very similar. The Falcons had their way for almost three quarters. But soon the Patriots took over and scored 25 unanswered points and won the game. The Falcons were mentally and physically exhausted and offered little to no resistance. The Ali strategy became known as the “rope-a-dope” plan. The rope a dope is now term used quite often in sports and business literature. In the end the rope a dope defeated the Falcons.