Rob Neyer is at his absolute best when he's writing historically. He has a tremendously large baseball library and, it appears anyway, he either has most of it memorized or at least painstakingly indexed. Yesterday he used that brain and those tools to put together a great column. The subject: the stories behind the players and coaches in the movie "42" who served as the movie's villains…
This isn’t sports related but I have to post this because I am a huge Superman fan and General Zod needs our attention.
I can’t wait for this movie to come out!
I came into the movie theater knowing that I wasn’t going to get a major history lesson of everything that happened during Jackie Robinson’s rookie year. But I knew that with Hollywood, the main message of the story would be told beautifully. That’s what I got when I saw “42” today.
The movie doesn’t detail every single thing that came with Robinson’s signing or Branch Rickey’s struggle to maintain a clubhouse that supported Robinson. But as any good Hollywood movie does, the reality is shown. And the reality was that Robinson’s arrival came with a lot of hate. From hate mail, to racial slurs to death threats, it all was emphasized throughout the film, an important aspect that I think the film captures wonderfully. Especially for a time period that so few of us actually lived through, it’s shocking to see how narrow-minded America was at one point.
I’ll be honest, I shed a tear a few times throughout the film because I think it still hurts to see racism today. Even though it was nothing like it was in the 1940s, the fact that we still struggle to accept people despite differences in our society makes this movie that much more powerful.
A little off topic here, but kind of not really.
Last night I was watching “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever had a day like that before. I’ve had days off before but never in my lifetime have I just had a day off, get a couple close friends and just go out on a town. Even during vacation times, there are a lot of restrictions to what I can do and what I want to do.
Part of Ferris’ day was spent at Wrigley Field. How great would that be just to get a day off and go to the park with your friends? I never did anything like that. I remember going to a game once after a half day in high school, but that was it.
What would I do if I truly had a day off? Now that I live in Los Angeles, there are a ton of things that I would want to do. I know for a fact that a baseball game would be somewhere in the mix. But if I did some of the things that Ferris did, I’d probably go to the Getty Museum, join maybe the Rose Bowl parade and maybe end up at some fancy restaurant.
Quick synopsis: Gus (Clint Eastwood) is an aging baseball scout that has had a great track record and is on to seek a prospect for the Braves in the upcoming draft. His eyesight is starting to fail him and his colleague, a former scout now team executive (John Goodman) suggests that Gus’ overworked lawyer daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) accompany Gus on this scouting trip. There Mickey hopes to mend a broken relationship with her father while she tries to balance her own problems in life.
So I came into the theater having high expectations for the movie. After all, I love baseball and I enjoy Clint Eastwood. But after watching this movie, I don’t think this was much of a baseball movie. Baseball was the backdrop to a story that featured more of Gus and his daughter Mickey bonding together for the first time in their lives.
But there were some good baseball notions to it. It actually debunked everything “Moneyball” was about — that computers can’t determine a player’s worth. You have to see it, hear and and believe it. And there goes the current state of scouting — which approach works best?
I came upon this video Saturday (and it’s already been getting a buzz for the past few days) and I suggest you all watch and enjoy it. After watching, here’s the story.
Basically, Dan Freiman works with kids in Kenya and realized that the children’s passion for playing sports and making movies could be combined into a project. After thinking up some famous sports moments, they settled on recreating Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
The link has the interview and it was a joy to read. The video itself is amazing.
Happy Father’s Day to all the papas out there. The above clip may be the best father-son moment in all of sports movies. It gets to me every time.
When I think about fathers in sports, I just can’t imagine how many athletes we’ve seen over the years credit their father for their success. And how much more important a father means to a kid in their quest to balance their lives as an athlete and a person.
My dad was a huge influence on me with sports. He’s not a huge sports nut like I am but all those times he’s taken me to A’s games or watched the 49ers with me as a kid made it oh so special. Without him, I don’t think I’d ever get into sports and who knows what I’d be doing today.
Happy Father’s Day, pop!
Today is 2Pac’s birthday and I am a huge fan of his work. Not only was he a great rapper, but he also loved sports. In fact, one of my favorite basketball movies featured 2Pac in a lead role. (Plus, the soundtrack is so good!)
The movie “Above the Rim” is a story about fighting the bad environment of the ghettos and trying to get out of it through basketball. It didn’t really feature tremendous basketball highlights or anything, but it told the truth of how some people in the ghetto see basketball as a way out. It was their key to a better life. (Check out the movie above — it’s Rated-R.)
With Bernie Mac and Marlon Wayans, it’s a strong cast with a great storyline. I wonder if this is on Netflix. I might need to watch it again.
And since it’s 2Pac’s birthday, here’s one of my favorite songs (and one of his best). I’ll throw out that NSFW warning because of the lyrics.
When the Dream Team assembled, I was only six years old. I had just learned how to shoot a basketball and I didn’t know much about what was going on about the team. The only thing I knew about the Dream Team was this poster puzzle my mom bought me.
And for the longest time, I only thought there were 10 guys on the team. But as I grew older and became a huge sports nut, I realized how great this team was. In my mind, this may have been the greatest team ever assembled other than these guys.
Chris Mullin was my favorite player so I was very proud to know that one of my favorites was part of something so big. And after watching the documentary last night, I was moved. The story of how they united as one and what they did to the game of basketball changed my perception of them. I was floored.