Day 6 – Are You Ready for Some Football?
I’ve been binge watching sports movies all day. We haven’t had cable for a few years, so the supply of sports movies has been severely lacking – but NOW we have like 30 ESPN channels and there is always a 30 for 30 movie playing at any time of the day or night. Plus, we have a trial for all the premium channels for the next few months – so that adds a whole other treasure trove of sports movies from which to choose.
I love sports movies. They are super predictable but totally suck me in every time I stumble upon one. There is just something so inspiring about the stories they tell – down on his luck, discriminated against, against all odds protagonist goes into a unwinnable situation full of enemies and through grit, determination and talent not only wins the big game but also turns the biggest of bullies into his biggest fan. I mean come on, how can you not love that kind of a story!?
Today, however, I watched a movie about the XFL. And that was totally NOT the story that movie told. Does anyone remember this league? I suppose if you are a Wrestle Mania fan, you probably do. But I guess I wasn’t really paying attention to alternative football in the early 2000s. I’ve always been a San Diego Chargers Fan (I still am not able to talk about the move to LA – it is just too soon and I am not emotionally ready), so I watched the NFL and all that, but I didn’t watch wrestling and I didn’t know or remember anything about this ill-fated league. It was a super interesting story and did not have a happy ending, but what I took away from the movie wasn’t anything about sports.
This 30 for 30 movie was directed by Charlie Ebersol, the son of Dick Ebersol, of NBC fame – he created SNL with Lorne Michaels, started Sunday Night Football, and won multiple awards for television sports programing, he also was best friends with Vince McMahon (of the WWE) and was the co-founder of the XFL with McMahon. Talk about a strange and unlikely friendship. As you probably know, and as I found out today the XFL was an unmitigated disaster of an enterprise, and the point of the documentary was to tell the whole story.
I found it amazing that such a powerful and successful man like Ebersol would be willing to speak so candidly about a HUGE professional and public failure on camera, but not just on camera, he spoke to his SON about his failure. As a parent, I kind of sat back and thought – wow – that’s a good dad! Now, I have no idea if Ebersol is a good parent or not – he could totally be Bing Crosby behind closed doors. But I have to imagine that if he was willing to not only support his son’s career but to do so by talking about what I am sure is a painful experience in his past – he can’t be a completely awful parent.
There’s a lesson in that – maybe if as parents we were more open with our children about some of our really big screw ups, they might not be afraid of trying and failing. Maybe they would be encouraged by our honesty and the fact that we are still “here” even though we messed up BIG TIME. Now, I’m not proposing the airing of all our youthful misdeeds, because really some of those just need to stay in the past – way, way, way in the past. But just maybe if we were a little more open with things that we thought were good ideas but turned out to be bad ones based on any number of reasons – maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Takes the tarnish off my perfect parent shine – but let’s be honest – by like age 4 the kid figured out I’m totally holding this thing together with duct tape and spit. Might as well use my very obvious flaws as a lesson.
Just something that struck me as a “thinkable” moment today.
Oh and the Rock used to be the opening act for the XFL games – who knew?!?!
See you tomorrow!
30 Day Challenge Count Down
Days Complete – 6
Days to Go – 24