30 for 30 Docos Part 5

Posted: July 30, 2014 in Sport

The Best That Never Was

The 1981 recruiting of high school football player Marcus Dupree by multiple big-time college programs, his resulting injury-prone college and professional career, and how his pursuit by college and USFL teams changed the recruiting process

Simply amazing story. The tie in with the deputy sheriff involved with the “Mississippi Burning” three deaths was the first shock – just shows high school football even ranks above deep racism in these good old boys. Then we have the influence of religion in this story – the other classic trait in the south – where he trusts a minister more than any other actual sporting people like coaches!. Clearly a sublime athlete who could have been anything it is a story of wasted talent pure and simple but sadly Marcus himself is a bit pure and simple. He was big and fast and at times he glided across the field and you couldnt work out how they couldnt catch him ; other times he simply ran over the top. He struggled with weight and injuries but in a clear sign of some internal fortitude a few years after being crippled by a knee injury he dropped 50 kgs and got into shape all by himself. He subsequently did finally make it into the NFL even if a shadow of former self. The afro and the big glasses simply add to the whole package of someone just that little bit different and behind it all driving him was the story of a crippled younger brother who would never run. The coach from his Oklahoma College days gives a very frank and honest interview as well admitting his part in Marcus never filling his true potential post high school

The Announcement

No not the year I was voted Cleo’s Most Eligible Bachelor but rather

The events and aftermath of former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson announcing to the world that he tested positive for HIV.

Magic comes across as a genuine good guy – but then he is narrating the story. However you never hear bad things about him really and the standout friendship seems to be with old coach Pat Riley who really does come out of it smelling of roses. It was a magic time indeed in LA when he first ascended the throne and no doubt doing a lot of slam dunking off the court and not denying it. The Lakers were an extension of Hollywood La La land at the time and riding high. In the background all this time was his one true love Cookie who he did eventually settle down and marry – maybe not the smartest cookie in the box . The irony I guess is it appears he was ready to settle down and rack the cue so to speak – and then found out he was HIV positive. Of course how he , and those in the game, handle that devastating news is the crux of the yarn. Kudos to the Mailman for appearing as he was one of the loudest nay sayers at the time – no doubt reflecting the views of many but having the balls to say it then . There was never any accusation of drugs or homosexuality but in another one of those ironies his son who was conceived when he was HIV positive but not aware was tested HIV negative – as was Cookie – and is now openly gay. Magic also had a son from a previous relationship who it appears also is HIV negative but sadly stopped growing when he hit 5 feet 10. Some touching moments especially the HIV positive girl he consoles on live TV soon after announcement who appears in end credits now fully grown. No doubt it helps being a millionaire but he does show how to handle life changing events

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