The Great Bambino said some incredible things during his life. These are some of the most memorable and striking quotes.
1. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
2. “Every strike brings me closer to next home run.”
3. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
4. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
5. “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”
6. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
This 30 for 30 or ESPN film, whichever name you prefer, looks at one of the most hated college athletes in the history of the game. It explores many different reasons why the hate for Christian Laettner was so serious. After all, he was just a kid, what did he ever really do to deserve the hate? The film talks to many different people including Christian Laettner himself, his family, Coach K, Coach K’s wife, past teammates, the Fab Five, opponents of his, and many different authors, reporters, etc who wrote books and stories about their hate. Many different perspectives were offered during this film which is what I’ve always loved most about documentaries- especially sports documentaries.
The first reason that they look at is that Laettner was perceived as a rich kid because he attended Duke University and a prep school before that. In reality, Laettner came from a middle class family. His mom was a teacher and his dad was a journalist. He couldn’t afford prep school but they offered a type of work study where he would work these dirty type jobs extremely early in the morning in exchange for his tuition. He only went to Duke because Coach K offered him a full scholarship. This alone gave me personally some new respect for the guy. He didn’t have anything handed to him, he worked for everything he had which is something worthy of respect.
Another reason why people hate Laettner is that he’s a white kid. Some people thought he might be racist or view black people differently since the only black guys on his basketball team were called “Uncle Tom” and things of that sort. Laettner was actually extremely tolerant of other races, maybe even was more against white people than black. His teammates bragged on how impressed they were with his style and his knowledge of hip-hop.
The third reason explored was that he was a bully who preyed on the weak. I actually laughed out loud because they used Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift as the image for a bully. Yes, Laettner was an animal on the court and he was certainly a big trash talker. The way he carried himself and seemed to get away with so much stuff other players wouldn’t get away with was extremely disheartening and irritating. But he also seemed like a good teammate and actually a cool guy off the court. He just knew how to get under people’s skin.
After watching this documentary, I learned a lot about the background of this guy that got such a terrible reputation over the years. I think it’s sad how much people disliked him and how far some people took it. Like it’s actually ridiculous that his 12-year-old sister was called a whore just for being his sister. Like what did she ever do to deserve that? Sometimes the hatred people have isn’t rational and is fairly upsetting. Ultimately, people hated how good he was and I love that the documentary explored that. But I think it wasn’t just one sided, it also showed the reasons behind why people hate him by talking to the sources directly. Overall, it’s one of my favorite ESPN films.
I found the movie Unbroken to be an inspirational one to say the least. I haven’t read the book and I’m the type that absolutely hates to see a movie before I read the book. I was still familiar with Louis Zamperini’s story and so I went ahead and saw the movie. One of my favorite parts, and I’m not sure how accurate it is, was when Louis changed his attitude. He was a kid that constantly in fights due to the fact that he was different from the other boys. He believed the lies the boys told him, that he wasn’t good enough to do anything. Louis’s brother Pete told him that he could do anything that he wanted to do and encouraged him to use his quick speed to use by joining the track team. Pete pushed him to keep going harder and harder, even calling him mean names from the sidelines as Louis was running in races.
I think this story about his childhood is important because it shows his change of attitude. It shows that you don’t have to accept being a negative person who refuses to evolve, you can change your attitude. Changing your attitude depends upon changing your state of mind and the way that you view yourself and the ones around you. You can’t just convince yourself that you’re not important and that everyone is against you. You have to motivate yourself and believe in your abilities.
A motto that Louis uses throughout the hardships he endures in his life is something that Pete told him, “If you can take it, you can make it.” This is a beautiful and optimistic take on life and it can make things easier to face. Louis refused being a bitter person who did nothing with his life and being a more hopeful and happy person was what got him through being stuck on a boat for 47 days at sea then the months of being held at a Japanese POW camp.
In the end, Louis decided to get rid of all bitterness and forgive. It took him awhile but he eventually let go and became a better person because of it. Louis Zamperini has a story about life, love, survival, change, bitterness, rage, and also forgiveness. Once he accepted Christ as his savior, he forgave all of the Japanese men who held him captive. Some of which were amazed with Zamperini’s faith and were then led to accept Christ as well. Above all, this movie shows that change is inevitable but it’s also something positive if we allow it to be that way.