CAT | Sports Media
If you have not had a chance to watch ESPN’s show called “30 for 30,” please check it out. It is about three decades in the world of sports as told by an a diverse cast of storytellers. Some of the episodes that I have watched are the stories of Len Bias, Jimmy the Greek, Allen Iverson, the USFL, the Baltimore Colts’ exodus to Indianapolis (feature story is about its marching band), and the University of Miami during the country’s racial tension and the coach’s search for African-American players for the predominately all-white university.
I saw an episode last night called June 17th, 1994 and had no idea (or at least I could not recall or recollect) how and why this date would be momentous in sports history. I began to watch and all of the pieces completed the picture. On this date, Arnold Palmer retired from game at Oakmont Country Club, literally not far from his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Chicago was the host city for the FIFA World Cup, the Rangers paraded down the New York City streets celebrating their Stanley Cup victory and Patrick Ewing was fighting hard to win his first NBA championship. But all of these moments in time were overshadowed by a white SUV. This is the day of the infamous Bronco ride with O.J. Simpson riding shotgun in the backseat while his friend chauffeured him, weaving in, out and through the freeways of California.
I vividly remember this ride pre-empting the game. At that time, professional basketball was one of my favorite games and I just could not believe that all of the broadcast channels gave the car chase carte- blanche and overwhelming coverage over a basketball game. I even remember the “choice” words that I spoke about my frustration and anger over a Heisman Trophy winner that, personally, never impressed me. How dare the media do this to me? I remember even stating that the police cars looked like a carefully planned funeral procession and from a comical or humorous viewpoint, the Keystone Cops.
Check out this series. I did not even detail all of the 30 for 30 shows but I believe that you will enjoy them as I have and remember where you were at that time in history or just to learn more about the athletes and their stories. They are real and fascinating. The 30for30 schedule is http://30for30.espn.com/schedule.html.