Monday, April 11, 2011

"The Best That Never Was"

Even if you hate football, don't miss this week's rebroadcast of ESPN's "The Best That Never Was", part of their outstanding "30 for 30" series (or, for $13, buy the DVD...or, for $5, watch on iTunes).

It's about Marcus Dupree, considered by some the greatest football player who ever lived. As you watch clips of him sailing past high school and college opponents, you'll realize he wasn't just great; he was wailing on pure shakti. He displays a level of grace beyond mere talent, and it's because he considered himself to be doing it all for his crippled little brother. It was an expression of love, and that's like rocket fuel. (It even had the power to heal and unite one of America's most notoriously racist towns, where Dupree grew up.)

But there were bad decisions and bad advisors, and the usual noxious money/fame cyclone of college sports, and, in the end, Dupree crashed before he could enjoy the triumphant career that seemed his destiny. He's now a truck driver, just barely getting by.

One interpretation would be that this is a tragic tale of lost potential. But that would be a wrong interpretation. Dupree's perspective on his own life - which is all that counts! - is very different. No bitterness whatsoever; just clarity and love - clearly stemming from the very same shakti (which the filmmaker, who applied a supremely nuanced touch, shares).

It's seriously inspiring. Please don't miss it. And afterwards, read this illuminating interview with Dupree.

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