Sports/Athletics

The Real MVP movie: Kevin Durant’s inspiring mom struggles and shines.  When NBA superstar Kevin Durant received the league’s Most Valuable Player award, he named his mother “the real MVP.”  The standing ovation and subsequent media groundswell confirmed that something significant had just happened, something transcending the game.  Now, Lifetime Television brings the inspirational backstory to a wide audience.  (Short op-ed)

Woodlawn movie: racial strife, football, faith.  A nation too-often tarnished by racial conflict could use an inspiring film like this.  The poignant story of NFL star Tony Nathan and how football plus faith helped bring harmony among racial enemies during his high school years in early 1970s Birmingham, Alabama.  Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are executive producers.  (Short op-ed)

Unbroken movie: hope, despair, redemption.  When Louie Zamperini boarded a World War II bomber in late May, 1943, unforeseen dangers awaited the Olympic runner and war hero.  He later said he’d prefer suicide to repeating his castaway and POW ordeals.  His enthralling story – told now in film – still inspires.  (Short op-ed)

New Football Movie: Character trumps winning.  Could a football coach who teaches that character trumps winning … win games consistently?  It’s happened – and quite dramatically – inspiring the film When the Game Stands Tall.  Jim Caviezel plays Coach Bob Ladouceur, who led an obscure, struggling California high school team to record-shattering national prominence by helping his players mature toward adulthood.  (Short op-ed)

Linsanity movie: hoops, hopes, Harvard, heaven.  Benchwarmer Jeremy Lin set the basketball world ablaze when he led the faltering New York Knicks to seven straight wins and helped boost them into the NBA playoffs.  The film documentary of his phenomenal rollercoaster ride – from struggling underdog to global star – will inspire you.  (Short op-ed)

Sexual Abuse Victor Offers Hope for Sandusky Victims, Others.  He knows how Jerry Sandusky’s victims must feel.  Their stories reawakened agonizing memories of childhood sexual abuse in Josh.  He’d hated his assailant, hated his father, and damned God.  He felt ashamed, and terribly alone.  Then a college student’s challenge started him on a quest that changed everything.  (Short op-ed by Rusty Wright and Meg Korpi)

Mighty Macs Movie – Teamwork Works.  The basketball team at tiny Immaculata College – a “pint-sized papal institution” – became an example “for every team that thought they never had a chance” as they played for the national title.  Their story could get you cheering, too.  Rocky meets Sister Act meets Hoosiers.  (Short op-ed)

Tiger’s Faith-Road Home.  Tiger gets religion?  “It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity,” affirmed golf’s superstar as he confessed to his affairs.  He says to save his marriage and children, he wants to balance his spiritual and professional lives.  Can he?  (Short op-ed)

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright.  “Tiger, Tiger, burning bright/ Driving from your home that night/ Was it fate or destiny/ That made you crash your SUV?”  A bit of hope … with apologies to William Blake.  (Short op-ed)

Duke Lacrosse: Ethical Reflections.  The Duke Lacrosse scandal has multiple ingredients for explosive media coverage: sex, race, politics, criminal charges, sports, class, a prestigious institution.  What ethical lessons might this episode teach?  What principles should determine how we act in life?  (Short op-ed)

Greater than Olympic Gold. World-class British hurdler Tasha Danvers-Smith found herself unexpectedly pregnant three months before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.  Should she terminate her pregnancy in hopes of Olympic glory and fortune?  An inspiring story.  (Short op-ed)