Friday, December 23, 2011

Feature Presentation: Looking Back

EPL Goals 1992-2007

This is one of the many I items I treated myself to for my birthday.  Got the three disc set pretty cheap, but no price can be put on the memories I had from the early days of the Premier League.

I started following (very distantly) Manchester United during the first season of the Premier League when they ended their 26 year drought of winning the title.  Robson, Bruce, Hughes and company led the Red Devils to glory in those early years, followed by Keane, Cantona, and the kids before Cole, Yorke, Solskjaer and Stam took over. 

Going through the seasons, I picked up new information, like Nicky Barmby played for Spurs?  Had no idea.  Plus there were all the clubs that have fallen away like Crystal Palace and Norwich and Swindon and Charlton and QPR.

Great goals and great memories.

I picked this up at the library because I had just finished The War for Late Night.   The tour looked brutal and showed Conan’s struggle between the rush of performing and the need to always be “on”.  Loved the fly on the wall nature of the documentary and feel that I may have missed out a comedic voice.

Love this show because almost everything is in my wheel house: sense of community amongst the study group, pop culture references throughout, the yearning for the days of college, and just a hint of awkwardness. 

Not every episode is a winner but the season as a whole is thoroughly enjoyable, especially the trampoline episode and the epic two part, Fistful of Dollars/Star Wars inspired, paintball finale.  Even the Zombie episode wasn’t too bad and that’s not really my thing. 

Is the show the most amazing thing ever?  No but it’s a fun, non-nutritious snack that I can’t get enough of. 

ESPN, to celebrate their 30th anniversary, released a series called 30 for 30, which covered a wide range of sports and topics.  One of the first ones I heard about was Once Brothers, the story of the Yugoslavian Basketball Team from the late 80’s, early 90’s.  This was particularly interesting to me because of my love of the Croatian Sensation, the Waiter, Toni Kukoc.  I knew of their success—silver in 1988 Olympics and 1990 World Champions—but I didn’t know their story.

The film is Vlade Divac’s account of his rise from small town to Yugoslavian basketball club star to world champion to NBA players and the relationships with his teammates, which became more and more strained as the former Soviet Republic broke apart.  It was heart wrenching to see him and Drazen Petrovic drift apart after a moment of nationalistic pride from Vlade.  The whole film had me on the verge of tears, as the glory and drama and tragedy of that team was retold.  I highly recommend this movie.  This is bigger than basketball and is story of friendship and hard work and redemption.