Tagged with "best"
The Best that Never Was, Marcus Dupree Tags: the best never was marcus dupree 30 of 30 football legend word life production

In 1981, college athletic recruiting changed forever as a dozen big-time football programs sat waiting for the decision by a physically powerful and lightning-quick high school running back named Marcus Dupree.

On his way to eclipsing Herschel Walker's record for the most touchdowns in high school history, Dupree attracted recruiters from schools in every major conference to his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss.More than a decade removed from being a flashpoint in the civil-rights struggle, Philadelphia was once again thrust back into the national spotlight.

Dupree took the attention in stride, and committed to Oklahoma. What followed, though, was a forgettable college career littered with conflict, injury and oversized expectations. Eight-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Hock examined why this star burned out so young and how he ultimately used football to redeem himself.

Director's Take

When ESPN invited me to be one of the select directors for its ambitious 30-for-30 project, I accepted without hesitation. This is a story I've been wanting to put on film for years, a story that embodies both what's right and what's wrong about sports in America, and since it plays out over the course of the last thirty years, I thought it would be perfect for this project. It's the story of Marcus Dupree, who was one of the most famously recruited high school football players of his generation. Today, Marcus is a 46-year-old part-time truck driver, struggling to get by, remembered by those who watched him as "the best that never was." The lure of fast money; the brutality of his sport; and above all, a young man's lack of understanding of what the big-time college football world demanded of him and how fast it could turn on him; all these led to Marcus's downfall as an athlete.

Philadelphia, Miss., was the site of one of the most notorious acts of terrorism during the Civil Rights Era in the 1960s: the murders of three young men helping to register black voters who had come to Philadelphia in 1964 to investigate the burning of a church that supported civil-rights activities. Marcus was born a month before the killings, and eventually would join the first class to go through integrated public schools in the state. When Marcus was establishing himself as the best high school running back in the nation, Philadelphians -- white and black -- took pride in him, and in the fully integrated team that he led. He was the town's first shared joy.

It would be naive to believe that Marcus singlehandedly gave rise to a "New South." But it would be cynical to disbelieve that he did help change the lives of the people of a small town with a horrible past. It is here that the best of sport still resides -- in its ability to tear down the isolation and separateness that permeate everyday life in America and to give people something bigger than themselves to share, a way to transcend the distinctions that otherwise keep them apart. For this experience, Marcus feels blessed beyond any measure of wealth or fame that might have come his way had things played out differently. "The Best That Never Was" is a story infused with sadness and loss. But its hero is a man who is at peace with it all.

Source: ESPN

Best Christmas Album- Boyz II Men’s Christmas Interpretations
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: best christmas ablum.boyz II men word life production feature weekly blog

Boyz II Men followed their hugely successful debut, Cooleyhighharmony, with Christmas Interpretations, which is a pretty intelligent choice, given that Christmas albums by established artists tend to sell year after year, while pop albums tend to sell mostly at the time of their popularity. So this album of all new Christmas material (written by the Boyz themselves) certainly helped the Boyz flesh out their catalog. There aren't any interpretations of Christmas classics to be found on this record, save for their a cappella rendition of "Silent Night." This album is pure, lushly produced quiet storm and, because of the lack of traditional favorites, could be played at any time of year. This set differs from typical Boyz II Men albums in that it's very subdued, and vocal histrionics are kept at a minimum. This set also differs from traditional Christmas albums in that the songs generally deal with more melancholy subject matter, such as depression and suffering ("Why Christmas") and loneliness and poverty ("Cold December Nights"). It's also balanced with songs about the joys of giving (the elegant "Share Love," "Do They Know") and, of course, love ("You're Not Alone," "Who Would Have Thought"). This set also features "Let It Snow," a Top 40 duet with maestro Brian McKnight, who co-produced nearly every song on this album (it should have been titled Boyz II Men featuring Brian McKnight). This set is a cozy, velvety, and hip quiet storm Christmas album with touches of jazz, nostalgia, and melancholy but, at times, one yearns to hear the Boyz' lush harmonies wrapped around traditional favorites. Nonetheless, a nice chapter in the saga that is Boyz II Men.

Source: All Music

Best Christmas Albums-The Temptations Christmas Card
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: temptations christmas card best album topic discussion word life production feature blog

The Temptations Christmas Card is a 1970 Christmas album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. The group's first holiday release, it features each Temptation leading on various popular Christmas standards and original Christmas songs.

Cheryl Miller is one of the greatest players in the history of women’s basketball. Tags: cheryl miller womens basketball best player word life production sports entertainment feature blog

Cheryl Miller,  (born Jan. 3, 1964, Riverside, Calif., U.S.), American basketball player who is one of the greatest players in the history of women’s basketball. Miller is credited with both popularizing the women’s game and elevating it to a higher level.

While growing up in southern California, Miller displayed extraordinary talent on the basketball court. She stayed close to her family by choosing to attend college at the University of Southern California (USC), where she quickly became a star. In 1983, her first season at USC, Miller burst onto the national scene by leading the Trojans to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s basketball championship. Although just a freshman, she was selected as the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the NCAA tournament because of her ability to dominate games with her all-around athleticism. In addition to having a shooting touch that made her dangerous from anywhere on the court, Miller was an intimidating defender and a dominating rebounder. In 1984 she led USC to another national title, and she was named MOP of the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year.

Miller followed up her two NCAA championship seasons by leading the U.S. women’s team to its first Olympic gold medal in the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. After completing her career at USC, Miller returned to the international arena. In 1986 she led American teams to titles at the women’s World Basketball Championship in Moscow and at the Goodwill Games, in which the United States defeated the Soviet Union to secure the gold medal.

When she left USC, Miller was widely considered the best women’s basketball player in the school’s history. She earned All-America honours in each of her four seasons and was a three-time NCAA player of the year selection (1984–86). In her 128-game career Miller established herself among the all-time NCAA leaders with 3,018 points (23.6 per game) and 1,534 rebounds (12.0 per game). At the close of her collegiate career, she was second in NCAA tournament career scoring with 333 points (20.8 per game) and first in career rebounding with 170 (10.6 per game). She was the first USC basketball player—male or female—to have her jersey number retired by the university.

Miller returned to her alma mater in 1993 as head coach of USC’s women’s basketball team. During her two years at the helm, the Trojans compiled a 44–14 record and won the 1994 Pacific-10 conference title. In 1995 she left coaching to become a commentator, analyst, and reporter for National Basketball Association (NBA) coverage on a number of television networks. In 1996 Miller became the first female analyst to broadcast a nationally televised men’s professional basketball game.

Riverside Riverside

In 1997, upon the establishment of a new women’s professional basketball league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Miller returned to the court as head coach and general manager of the Phoenix Mercury. She resigned from that position in 2000 and returned to broadcasting. Miller’s younger brother Reggie was an all-star shooting guard for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers from 1987 to 2005. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

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