Best Sports Speeches

I’ve always loved speeches and ones given by athletes, coaches, and other important sports figures are especially touching to me. Here are some (but certainly not all) of my favorites.

1. Lou Gehrig Farewell Speech

It’s a short and sweet type speech but the emotion is so evident. Lou Gehrig was such a great baseball player who had gained so much respect from the Yankees fans over the years. It’s such a famous speech that’s had such an impact and is still celebrated to this day. It’s incredibly quotable and thoughtful to say the least.

2. Jimmy V Speech

Yet another powerful speech from somebody that knew they may not have much time left on Earth. The speech is filled with pathos and was actually used by my English teacher when we were learning about pathos, ethos, and logos because Jimmy uses pathos in such a natural way that really is showcased in his extremely touching delivery. You’ve got to love the heart of this legendary coach, who never lost his vibrant personality even in his final days. This will always be my go to video when I need an extra dose of heart and motivation.

3. Kevin Durant MVP Speech

This was a much more recent speech but still a memorable one. Kevin Durant was the NBA MVP last season and this was his rather long yet touching acceptance speech. The most memorable parts were where he talks fondly of his mother, who is in the crowd beaming up at her son. It’s evident how grateful Durant is to his mom, who he notes did everything possible to make sure he and his brother had a roof over their heads and that they weren’t out in the streets. It’s always nice to see such a humble and gracious player.

4. Stuart Scott ESPY Speech

This popular beloved ESPN announcer lost his fight to cancer early in January. Last summer, he accepted an award at the ESPY’s in the name of Jimmy V, the guy I previously mentioned who gave a famous speech and also lost his battle to cancer. This is such an awesome speech because of the manner that Scott carries himself. He had such a natural grace about him and you can’t help but love that. He was also just a great storyteller and his shout out to Jimmy V made me bawl my eyes out.

5. Rickey Henderson Hall Of Fame Speech

Henderson is a player known for his rather cocky personality on the field. This speech is mostly memorable for how humble he was in it. My favorite part about it is the hilarious personal stories that he adds here. I think it’s hilarious that he had to be bribed in order for him to play baseball.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Updates

So I’m already getting a little bored/not sure what direction to go in with this theme. So I figured I’d just stick to talking about what I know best, sports! Okay, I don’t know as much as I would like to but it’s something I enjoy talking about and there’s a lot of news to uncover in it. So right now, I’m going to talk a little about the Pittsburgh Pirates. The organization was fairly respected back when Barry Bonds was on the team. But it gradually went down over the years and didn’t show any signs of hope until a hot prospect from Florida named Andrew McCutchen began playing for the Pirates and they really ended up building the team around him. He’s definitely a star and this season, he’s started out as good as ever, except Saturday night he set himself out of the game in the 9th inning due to a knee injury. However, he’s shown that his knee is better and has started since that night. McCutchen has previously started out pretty much every season ready to go and hasn’t in general been setback by injuries. Fingers crossed that this lucky trend continues.

We all know the potential that McCutchen shows and has shown these past 7 seasons, there are also other players on the Pirates team that should also be singled out. The Pirates have one of the best outfields in the MLB right now. One of those spots obviously belongs to Andrew McCutchen but younger players Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco take the other two spots. Marte is one impressive player and has showed tremendous growth as he enters his third full season of playing in the big leagues. He has a ridiculously high number of home runs and steals, plus his on base percentage is also good. Polanco was one of the best minor league players and moving him up to the big leagues was a smart move to say the least. He’s still getting his footing in the big leagues but that doesn’t say he isn’t impressive, he certainly is and he probably has the most room left to grow out of these three guys.

Josh Harrison is one of my personal favorite players besides McCutchen. Harrison has never been a big all-star or a guy who’s received a lot of hype. He’s a player who worked his way out of the minors gradually. I remember him a couple of seasons ago only being in the game when he was a pinch runner during the games. He’s come miles since those days. However, he still has been thrown around to practically every position out there on the field, which goes to show you how adaptable and talented Josh is. He’s just a quality hitter who has the ability to sneak up when you least expect it and get a home run out of you. He’s certainly a big time threat and I love how humble he is.

There are many other players that I want to talk about. I’m just going to mention some other key players including: Pedro Alvarez, Jordy Mercer, and Neil Walker. These are all guys that are okay and pretty good infielders (Alvarez is the one who notably has some crazy random errors every now and then) who are even better hitters. Walker and Mercer aren’t known for being as powerful as Alvarez (nicknamed El Toro because he’s so strong and awesome) but they are still solid players that the Pirates depend on. The Pirates are still working out the whole catcher situation since losing one of the best catchers around Russell Martin.

I haven’t gotten the chance to touch on all of the starting, relief pitchers, and closing pitchers that I really want to. So I’m just going to save a whole post to talk about that situation. But this is what I’ve come up with so far so I hope that gives you an introduction to the Pirates that you may (probably not) want to know in case you end up watching a game or something like that. But anyway, I’ll shut up now but thank you for reading my rambles!

Top Sports Documentaries

These are some of my favorite sports documentaries of all time. I’ve tried to include many different sports in this list but I’m sure I left some out so let me know if I forgot any of your favorites!

1. Undefeated

This documentary won an Oscar for Best Documentary and it’s not hard to see why. It follows an inner city high school in Memphis that’s run by a volunteer coach. The stories of these individual players is so touching and interesting. It just gives audiences a lot of insight into the struggles that these kids have to deal with. This is a documentary that’s pretty impossible not to cry over.

2. Baseball

One of the best documentaries about baseball and an extremely long one at that. It’s a very in depth look at the history of baseball. It makes sure to stick as close to the dates and important decades in the sport as possible. As a whole, it’s just a fun documentary that teaches you a lot about all of the players and dates that are significant for baseball.

3. The Endless Summer

A timeless documentary that changed the direction of surfing documentaries right around. It takes a unique first person point of view that had a way of making audiences feel that they were actually apart of the story. Bruce Brown’s approach to filming and narrating in this feature in general was something that we hadn’t yet seen. He also showed that the theory “less is more” can be a relevant one when used by the right filmmaker.

4. Hoop Dreams

This is a long one but it’s far from boring, the length is perfect for you to get involved in the lives of these two high school basketball players who have dreams of playing in the NBA. That plot sounds like a simple one, what basketball player doesn’t have that dream? But as you take a closer look, you realize the racial and economic challenges that these two African American boys have to deal with. It becomes a lot more about their lives outside of the sport and that’s what keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

5. 30 for 30: Fab Five

ESPN 30 for 30 films never disappoint. They always manage to tell such fascinating stories from various points of view. This one in particular revealed a lot about how these underprivileged boys were given the opportunity to play basketball at Michigan. At the time, they came off as being “cocky” and “punks” but this gives us more insight as four of the boys (Chris Webber didn’t want to be apart of it) were interviewed as well as other coaches and reporters around during this time. I gained a lot of respect for them after watching this and seeing how much they truly changed culture and what people thought about them.

6. 30 for 30: Into The Wind

30 for 30 isn’t typically known for being so emotional and heartbreaking. Most of the time, just the facts are being presented and it isn’t exactly tear jerking. However, this story about Terry Fox is bound to make even the hardest of hearts shed a few tears. Canadian Terry Fox was a big runner when his leg was amputated at the age of 19 because of cancer. In 1980, he ends up running across Canada on one leg. His relentless work ethic and pure love for running is so heartwarming and inspiring.

7. We Could Be King

An inspiring look at two Philadelphia rival schools being forced to combine their football programs due to budget cuts. The horrors that these kids go through is really emotional. One of the boys Dontae is a big guy who is extremely sensitive and it breaks your heart when the boy struggles with reading out loud. The coach himself is also an inspiration, he began helping these boys after his close friend was murdered. He wanted to help these boys get away from the realities of their lives and focus on the sport they all love.

8. The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

The Portland Mavericks were an independent team owned by Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell who also did some acting himself. The movie is hilarious but also touching to see these underdogs rise to the top in such hilarious fashion. The people interviewed including Kurt Russell, a batboy, players, coaches, Kurt’s mom, and many more give us new dimensions to the story.

 

Coolest Interview Related Magazines and Websites

I’ve always thought that interviews were really cool. Celebrities are obviously cool people and I love profiles in magazines that give us better insight into who that celebrity is. These are some of the best sources for celebrity interviews.

Rolling Stone 

You probably should be searching for a particular celebrity because the magazine has so many different issues of it. The magazine interviews pretty much everyone you can possibly think of so it’s a trusted source to find the most interesting interviews out there.

Interview Magazine

The title says it all, Interview Magazine has the best interviews. The best part about them is that most of the time, it’s celebrities interviewing other celebrities. There’s something really special about reading how these celebrities interact with one another. Sometimes it’s a director and actor, actress and actress, or many other different fields or whatever. At the end of the day, they are all artists and these interviews show the respect they have for one another.

Joe Smith Library of Congress

This collection that’s in the Library of Congress has old yet still very interesting interviews Joe Smith has collected over the years with many different famous musicians. He talks to everyone including B.B. King, Linda Ronstadt, Mick Jagger, Peter Frampton, David Bowie, Ray Charles, and many more. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Blank On Blank

Blank On Blank is a short program brought to us by PBS. It also features really cool animations along with these lost interviews. Interview subjects include: Tupac, Johnny Cash, Meryl Streep, Elliott Smith, Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain, and many more!

 

Birdman Review

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Birdman is a weird yet brilliant film starring Michael Keaton, who is most famous for playing Batman. In this role, he plays Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who played the superhero Birdman in the popular franchise decades earlier. He attempts to make a comeback by acting on Broadway.

A lot of this film deals with Riggan being haunted by the role he previously played. Literally, he hears the voice of Birdman and it even follows him around. He also has magic powers and can fly which is definitely the weird thing about the movie.

However, it’s directing is really great and there isn’t a bad acting performance in the movie. Emma Stone shines as Riggan’s daughter who just got out of rehab and is now acting as his personal assistant. She resents her dad for missing out on most of her life and holds it over his head every chance she gets. This is one of the best performances I’ve seen from the Hollywood star.

As far as Oscars go, Boyhood started winning Best Picture awards early on in the award season. But Birdman hasn’t been counted out just yet. It’s pretty clear that the race is between Boyhood and Birdman to take the top award. Personally, I think Boyhood should win the award for reasons SMJ already talked about. The movie is easy to relate to and Birdman is only something that a specific group of people- those in show business can relate to.

Edward Norton has a memorable performance as an experienced Broadway actor Mike Shiner, who fills in for an actor that gets injured just days before the show opens for previews. Mike causes Riggan more harm than good. The two constantly clash and don’t agree on really anything. The tension between them creates an interesting but small part of this complicated plot.

There’s some dark moments of the film. Such as, the times when Riggan constantly battles with the fact that he wasn’t there for his wife and daughter. The movie is actually depressing at times. I heard that it was a comedy but I didn’t expect it to be so dark. The funny moments are brief but also memorable.

In my opinion, the best scene comes towards the end of the film. You’ll have to watch it, but I’ll give just a little hint. Basically, let’s just say that Michael Keaton’s character ends up running around Times Square in nothing but his pair of briefs. The moments in the show that go horribly wrong are when the movie finds it’s funny moments.

All in all, the movie is unique and I’ve never seen a movie quite like it. It’s also one of those movies where so much happens that you have to watch it back a second time just to catch everything. Whether or not it wins Best Picture, Best Actor, or any of the other Oscars it’s nominated for, this is still a movie worth watching. Did any of you see Birdman? Do you think that Michael Keaton played too much like Batman in this role? Let me know your thoughts!