Archive for the ‘Sports on TV’ Category

Service of Feel-Good Sports Movies

Thursday, January 11th, 2024

For someone who doesn’t watch sports on TV I nevertheless have an affinity for movies about winning teams.

I recently saw “The Boys in the Boat,” directed by George Clooney, starring Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner and Peter Guinness. I love “You can do it! the underdog wins” kind of film. This one told a true story about an American rowing team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was based on Daniel James Brown’s book.

It didn’t meet “Chariots of Fire,” one of my all-time favorite films of any and all genres, with its magnificent score and a more complex story than “Boys,” which I liked less passionately. When “Chariots” runs on Turner Classic Movies, that’s it. I’m in.

I also saw “Ferrari,” starring Penélope Cruz and Adam Driver. I would have liked it more had the interminable racing scenes been cut considerably. [I’m expecting to hear a sigh from racing car enthusiasts.] I most enjoyed the scenery, the acting and the personal interactions in the film. Oh, and it isn’t really a feel-good film, unless you focus solely on the handsome cars, but I don’t want to be a spoiler.

I mentioned “Boys” to a friend who responded with “What about ‘Cool Runnings’ and ‘The Mighty Ducks?’ Those were the cute sports movies of my generation.” He’s almost 40. He added “Cool Runnings=Jamaican bobsled.  Mighty Ducks= youth hockey.” I haven’t seen these.

He continued, “My dad loved ‘Rudy,’ a football movie about Notre Dame.” I missed this one too.

Do you have a favorite sports film? Do you also appreciate the uplifting nature of these movies?

Service of Sports on TV

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

This court on Second Avenue in the 30s often becomes a pickleball court. Otherwise, tennis players practice against the wall on the left.

Retired beloved NYC sports broadcaster Warner Wolf, [whose “Let’s Go to the Videotape” became his trademark], calls in to a local morning radio program every Monday. He predicted that investors in major league pickleball are wasting their money because the game is to be played. It’s not a spectator sport, he said. If you ask Google “how many people play the game?” the stats range from 4.8 to 8.9 million. Wolf is one. He lives in Florida now and plays five days a week.

I was athletic when young but have never voluntarily watched sports on TV and have not loved the baseball, football and hockey games I’ve attended. The exception: watching tennis in person is fun.

Yet the moment Wolf said what he did about pickleball I thought of golf. Millions watch major tournaments on TV. Too slow a game for me when I tried playing it, watching it on TV is excruciating yet my husband adored doing so almost as much as watching his beloved football team which in the day was the Redskins. He also played golf for years.

Do you think pickleball will be profitable for the investors in major leagues?

I am not envious enough of those who look forward to watching their favorite teams in season to force myself to follow. I’m not curious to see if their enthusiasm is contagious though I’m glad so many derive pleasure.

I wonder: if you enjoy watching sports on TV have you been doing so since you were a kid? What about it captures your fancy? Do you also go to the games?

Retired sportscaster Warner Wolf calls in from Florida every Monday morning.
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