A wise man once asked: “Why do we need heroes?” It’s a valid question. The most honest answer is simply this; It’s because we’re less than perfect. This question and its subsequent answer is as true in sports as it is anywhere in life.
As I write this piece, I’m watching the ESPN 30 for 30 entry about Bo Jackson, one of the most mythical figures in the history of athletics. It occurred to me the other day that sports really can bring out the best in us. Our sweat, blood, and tears are spilled on whatever sporting surface we happen to be playing on as we dedicate our life to the games we love. Sportsmanship and comradery are alive in their truest forms. It’s an inherent truth that we all know, and nowhere is this more apparent than in ESPN’s groundbreaking 30 for 30 series.
Wayne Gretzy, Michael Jordan, the 1984 SMU team – men and groups such as this have had their unique stories showcased in these segments, as ESPN delves into topics of the sports greats.
But more importantly, this series shows us how those who are imperfect can achieve greatness in the face of such adversity. Individuals like Terry Fox and Dewey Bozella – ordinary people who did extraordinary things – now have a venue for their stories to be told.
Sports film and documentaries will never be the same because of 30 for 30, and that’s a good thing. Every time I watch one of these entries, I’m inspired to be a better athlete, regardless of my level of play, and I hope everyone else feels the same way after watching just one of these brilliant productions from ESPN.