Reviewing Episode 1 of Grantland’s “The Finish Line”
Through Grantlands new Web special, Steve Nash allows us a view into hollow ground: A personal glimpse into his physical and mental vulnerabilities, as the future of his career hangs in the balance. We are allowed a day to day real time perspective of his plight, and in doing so we see an up close view into the deconstruction of a legend, and undoubtedly one of the top 10, if not 5 Point Guards of all time.
Any true sports fan over the course of their cheering career has asked why? Why do the legends always stay longer than they should? Why did Michael Jordan not retire with his hand in the air splashing the game winning shot over Byron Russell? Why did Brett Favre have 5-6-7(I lost count) comebacks? Muhammed Ali? Emmit Smith? Rickey Henderson? WHY? With the “The finish Line” Steve Nash hopes to answer this question for himself, and in doing so help us understand why it is so hard for these men, athletes, artists to say goodbye also.
13 years ago Bill Simmons introduced the world of over-informed fanatics and the stat nerd critics. In doing so he might have gotten more than he bargained for, because in a world of trade machine, and P.E.R’s, and a percentage for every category you can think of, he created a fan that has detached themselves from the plight of the athlete (yes they are real and they do sweat, and bleed, and put their pants on one at a time like the rest of us), and care more about mock drafts, and rates, and stats. And yes many times in a world of the coddled, spoiled athlete, a cold indifferent coverage may be justified, but Steve Nash is here to remind us why we fell in love with sports in the first place.
Simmons and Grantland, with this Webumentary, I guess is the right term, may be seeking redemption from the over saturation of numbers and percentages, he helped spawn more than a decade ago, by wildly swinging the pendulum the other way. By the end of the first episode we care about Steve Nash, we don’t see him as a pawn or a number but the raw, true human/athlete/artist. A sports documentary not really about sports may help remind us of why caring about these teams, players, colors is so beautiful!?!
“In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?”
I am G. Marlon Gutierrez lover of Lakers, Bacon, and Sunday afternoons. Follow me or hit me up @theGMarlon, or email me at [email protected]