The Legendary Evel Knievel Essay

2356 words - 10 pages

"He's a motorcycle daredevil driver. All his life he's been doing death defying feats. Death has nearly defied him several times. His longest jump was fifty yards, a fifty-yard jump over the fountains of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. This jump did not go well. You may have read about it. Or seen some still photos of it. He has some film with him of what happened. He seems to spend his life, or what he has left of it, it sometimes seems to be, seeing what he can do to shorten it. Incredible things he does... Will you welcome the legendary Evel Knievel"(Montville 7). Born Robert Knievel, “Evel” was not your average Joe. Going through many job and family changes in his life, he went from a life of crime behind bars to becoming one of the most influential and popular people of his time. While going through adulthood, Knievel picked up many hobbies, including riding motorcycles, which he is still remembered for to this day. After many years, tricks and attempts, his stunts he performed for the world were always known as successes, even after going home with broken bones, if he even got to leave a hospital bed. Evel Knievel influenced today's daredevils with his bold attempts that are still legendary considering his exemplary maturation, innovative hobbies, and successes at unimaginable stunts.
Many people wonder why or how he got his nickname, “Evel”, whenever they first hear or see his name. Although it was not a good situation for his record, when Knievel was arrested after a police chase on his motorcycle, he was sitting in a cell with William Knofel. A jailer sitting on duty played around with their names and called William “Awful Knofel,” and going for consistency, the jailer referred to Robert as “Evel Knievel.” The name stuck. This small experience made way for a name that shaped Knievel himself and is known to people all over the world.
Although one would just see him as a fearless egomaniac, Evel referred to himself as a “businessman” because of his sense of professional tactics in consideration of the fact that he put together shows and built his popularity up on his own. He once portrayed himself perfectly, illustrating, “I am not a guy who is first of all a businessman, I’m not a stuntman. I’m not a daredevil. I’m… I’m an explorer”(Knievel). Knievel not only produced and ran his own stunt shows, but he maintained and kept track of his own finances for shows and income, even though he was never really good with money. Aside from the monetary sectors of the shows, the stunts themselves were something to worry about. Knievel was widely known for his courageous theory of never backing down from a promise. If he went through with one dangerous stunt and ended up with an injury, minor or severe, he would always be at the next show, ready to go. He would always perform the stunts that he promised and always left the stadium or show floor with the cheers of thousands of people, awaiting his next injury, knowing he would do as he said (Montville)....

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