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December 14, 2007 / Toby Dayton

The Best Story I’ve Heard In A Month…

eveldog-2.jpg

Listening to a Slate podcast this week on the life of Robert Craig ‘Evel’ Knievel, the author of Evel Knievel’s biography, Steve Mandich, told a great anecdote about the egomaniacal stunt man. Back when Evel was just starting out, around 1967 or so, he jumped over the fountains in front of the new Caesar’s Palace and slammed into the restraining wall. He was rushed to the hospital, where he lay in a coma for 37 days. Asked by a Sports Illustrated reporter in 2002 what it felt like to be in a coma for 37 days, Evel, with his typical bluster, shot back, “How the $#@!$ should I know! I was in a $%#@!#$% coma!”

It reminded me of the great scene in The Pursuit of DB Cooper, when an FBI agent gets locked in the trunk of a car by the infamous guy who parachuted out of a commercial airliner with suitcases of stolen cash. The agent’s partner comes running up the hill, unlocks the trunk, and asks his partner which way Cooper went. The partner replies, “Let me ask you something there Sacajawea, what kind of a view do you think I had from in there?”

Interestingly enough, Evel’s biographer claims that the daredevil was never actually in a coma. He was known to greatly exaggerate and even fabricate stories to add to his own myth and lore. In any event, I was a huge fan as an 8-year old and can vividly remember playing with the toy motorcycles and the Evel Knievel doll, and watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports on the days he was making a jump of one sort or another. He was, without a doubt, one of the great characters of the 70’s.

[tags]Evel Knievel, Robert Craig Knievel, Steve Mandich, Sports Illustrated, The Pursuit of DB Cooper, Great Lines From Movies, Daredevils, Stunt Man, People From the 70’s, Caesar’s Palace[/tags]

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous / Jun 21 2008 11:11 pm

    For the record Steve Mandich was not the author of “Evel Knievel’s biography” but was the author of a “Evel Knievel biography”(Steves verison). Steves book is full of alot of crap and not to mention alot of stuff taken from other books and magazine stories and his own made up stories. The entire book is full of other peoples work and views. Evel Knievel himself hated Steve and his book. I was a fan and friend of Evels and loved him dearly. He was a awesome person and i miss him alot. Steve showed complete an utter disrespect for Evel with his book. For a guy who claimed to be a fan of Evels he sure as hell did’nt show it with this book. Had Steve known Evel like i knew Evel he would have had a different view of the man,the myth an the legend…

  2. eveleye1 / Jun 21 2008 6:11 pm

    For the record Steve Mandich was not the author of “Evel Knievel’s biography” but was the author of a “Evel Knievel biography”(Steves verison). Steves book is full of alot of crap and not to mention alot of stuff taken from other books and magazine stories and his own made up stories. The entire book is full of other peoples work and views. Evel Knievel himself hated Steve and his book. I was a fan and friend of Evels and loved him dearly. He was a awesome person and i miss him alot. Steve showed complete an utter disrespect for Evel with his book. For a guy who claimed to be a fan of Evels he sure as hell did'nt show it with this book. Had Steve known Evel like i knew Evel he would have had a different view of the man,the myth an the legend…

  3. eveleye1 / Jun 21 2008 11:11 pm

    For the record Steve Mandich was not the author of “Evel Knievel’s biography” but was the author of a “Evel Knievel biography”(Steves verison). Steves book is full of alot of crap and not to mention alot of stuff taken from other books and magazine stories and his own made up stories. The entire book is full of other peoples work and views. Evel Knievel himself hated Steve and his book. I was a fan and friend of Evels and loved him dearly. He was a awesome person and i miss him alot. Steve showed complete an utter disrespect for Evel with his book. For a guy who claimed to be a fan of Evels he sure as hell did'nt show it with this book. Had Steve known Evel like i knew Evel he would have had a different view of the man,the myth an the legend…

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