Tuesday, March 03, 2015

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Vol 2: Brian and the Boz

Running on the treadmill, I watched Brian and the Boz. This is the twenty-third installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 volume II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. I am still working to catch up on all of the episodes that were released last fall.

This film tells Brian Bosworth's story in two interwoven arcs. First, it traces his football career from a kid through Oklahoma to the Seattle Seahawks. This part of the story includes lots of interviews, including former teammates and journalists. The second arc is more unexpected. It follows Brian and his son as they travel to a rental unit and dig through boxes of memorabilia that Brian's father had collected and saved. The emotion in this part of the story is very surprising.

In three seasons (1984-86) with Bosworth, Oklahoma had 31 wins and two Orange Bowl victories, including a national championship. Bosworth was awarded the first two Butkus Awards.

I knew a rough outline of Bosworth's career. Nevertheless, a number of things surprised me. I don't know that there were undercurrents of the Todd Marinovich story at work. Like Marinovich, Bosworth had a demanding father who was never satisfied with his results. I also didn't realize that he had played only 24 games with the Seahawks before retiring with a shoulder injury.

This is an interesting film. The metamorphosis of Brian into the Boz is amazing to watch on film. The unique angle of Bosworth and his son digging through the boxes as the timeline progresses is captivating. Finally, Bosworth reflecting on the mistakes he made and apologizing to teammates and coaches is unusual way to wrap up the story. This is definitely a documentary worth watching.

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