Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
'Little Big Men' relive glory days
Greetings! I still have another week off, but I'm coming out of hibernation to recommend you watch Tuesday's ESPN "30 for 30" entry, "Little Big Men."
It's about the 1982 Kirkland, Wash., team that won the Little League World Series behind Cody Webster, shocking mighty Taiwan.
The cautionary tale is well-timed, coming just after the conclusion of ESPN's annual, over-the-top coverage of 11- and 12-year-olds playing baseball - now complete with replay reviews!
The documentary perhaps overstates (or at least under-documents) the struggles Webster experienced post-LLWS, since he and his teammates seem to have turned out OK.
But the film is a powerful take on 12-year-old stardom from the perspective of middle age. The technique of having the players - especially Webster - speak into the camera at close range gives the proceedings an intimate feel that works well.
Now that LLWS championships by American teams are commonplace, younger viewers might not fully appreciate the magnitude of Kirkland taking down Taiwan.
But it was a big deal indeed, and a mixed blessing for those who pulled it off.
Elsewhere in my life . . .
I took the family to its first game at Red Bull Arena Saturday and saw the Red Bulls thump San Jose before a large, enthusiastic crowd - at prices impossible to match at our local pro baseball and football stadiums.
The atmosphere is infinitely better than when the MetroStars/Red Bulls rattled around mostly empty Giants Stadium.
We even got to see Thierry Henry score his first MLS goal.
Sunday night I was happy to see my alma maters sweep the best actress in a comedy Emmys, first with Cornell's Jane Lynch of "Glee," then with Edie Falco (Northport High School Class of '81) winning for "Nurse Jackie."
Former Cornell laxer Bucky Gunts won a directing Emmy for the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics on NBC.
And, finally, NYT wrote a story here about former U.S. Open women's golf champion Jane Geddes, voted "Most Athletic" in my 1975 East Northport JHS yearbook.
The story also mentions Valerie Waitkus Stern, another of our ENJHS pals, who is partners with Gigi Fernandez in the Baby Goes Pro DVD series.