Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/19/12

FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2006: Freddie Roach of the New England Patriots poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Getty Images)
On the occasion of Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday, I recalled my first time seeing him in the flesh. It was 1991, at Macy's department store on New York City's 34th Street. He was appearing for a new line of haberdashery that bore his name. Ali was given a marker and seated at a table, where an endless line of fans, not to mention the autograph mercenaries, presented him with their souvenirs. He signed them dutifully, courageously trying to remain oblivious to the palsied rhythms and tremors running through his torso and arms. Finally, however, even the relentless procession of signature seekers found it impossible to ignore his condition. The 20th century's most graceful athlete had begun to drool. It's long been my theory that fighters, unlike most people, fear violence less than humiliation. That's what makes them fighters. But it also what makes Parkinson's disease an especially cruel fate for ex-boxers. "It was really more embarrassing than anything," recalls Freddie Roach, th...
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