Tuesday, June 7, 2016
KIMBO SLICE AND THE DEATH OF AN INTERNET SENSATION
As far as brilliant names go for seemingly bad-ass fighters, Kimbo Slice ranks right up
there with Clubber Lang and Apollo Creed. The name just rolls off your tongue and is so
hard to forget even if you have no idea what the hell Kimbo Slice ever did.
There are thousands of faceless boxers, MMA fighters, and professional wrestlers who
put together fabulous careers, but in this social-media driven world we live in, very few
of them catch our attention or imagination.
Kimbo Slice most certainly did.
Very few people outside his family had ever heard of Kevin Ferguson 20 years ago, but
when he started beating up all comers in Miami street fights as Kimbo Slice, a legend was
hatched. When videos of those fights found their way to the Internet, Kimbo Slice became
a sensation of early Kardashian proportions.
Oh, we didn't know if Kimbo Slice was beating up tomato cans for our viewing pleasure
or if Kimbo Slice had any discernible talent. Whatever the case, the nickname was cool
and he just looked like the baddest man on the planet.
Kimbo Slice had little choice. He was homeless for a while after a hurricane wiped him
out of his residence. Slice was also a bouncer and worked as a bodyguard, but fighting
was his ticket to fame and some pretty darn good cash.
Kimbo Slice got into mixed-martial arts and UFC. He really wasn't that great of a fighter,
but he had that spectacular name. People didn't know Kimbo Slice's record, but they knew
the name, the beard, and that chisled pyshique
During his career, Kimbo Slice was busted for steroids, which is hardly surprising. Slice,
as they say in the business, was shredded steel. There wasn't an ounce of fat on his 225-lb
frame. People just don't get like that without majoring in a little chemistry.
Kimbo Slice died Monday of heart failure at the age of 42. I'm not exactly going out of
a limb, but there's a good chance all those chemicals he pumped into his body had
somethingto do with his death.
The anchors on ESPN were wondering about the "legacy" of Kimbo Slice, a street-fighter
who had less than 15 bouts that actually counted in his career. I'm not a big fan of the
legacy debate because as Lou Holtz famously said, "Who cares about legacy? People
forget about you five minutes after you're dead, anyway."
However, Kimbo Slice is proof that you don't have that much talent to become famous
in this Facebook-Twitter-YouTube world. All you need is a great name, compelling video,
and the Internet to help you go viral.
Kimbo Slice, we hardly knew you. But thanks to the Internet, your "legacy" will live