November 04, 2009

Love Without Bias

Last night hubby invited me to watch a sports documentary with him (yuck!, I thought; but since you asked, sure…why not, I thought). I don’t watch sports, so you can only imagine my enthusiasm to watch a sports-related documentary. I was rather pleased that I took him up on his offer because I was moved by this film. It was a reminder of so many things about life and I encourage you to catch “Without Bias” the next time it appears on ESPN.

The film documented the tragic death of rising basketball star and local DC-area legend Len Bias. Apparently, Len Bias was destined to outshine Michael Jordan; he was on fire and had been drafted (maybe even Number 1 drafted) by the Boston Celtics - he apparently was going to be their savior! The film chronicled his skills and talent as a college basketball star and showed clips of the excitement that he caused in Boston and in the DC-area. As it turns out, the night upon returning from Boston (and incidentally, signing a deal with Reebok) he partied a little too hard and a little too long and mixed alcohol and cocaine and died.

His death triggered an entire series of events, some were directly tied while others were outgrowths of the tragedy, including the FBI investigating the local DC drug trade, Congress’ war on drugs, mandatory minimum sentences, increased awareness of athletes' drug use, the eventual downfall of one of DC’s biggest drug lords and maybe even the Marion Barry sting.

The most heart-wrenching part of the story for me was to watch his mother go through the unthinkable. I broke down in tears because I just couldn’t imagine how a person could withstand such heartache. Despite my horror, his mother was strong, composed, organized and in control. She stated that she knew death was coming, and she was prepared for it. She discussed her faith in God and her understanding that her son was in a better place. Strangely though, she also discussed the fact that she hadn’t understood and appreciated who “he” was and didn’t understand the world that he was in.

It was a cautionary tale and a welcomed reminder to stay strong in your faith because anything could happen at any second. It was a reminder to love your child at every moment because that child is a gift from God. It was a reminder that regardless of your child’s age, as a parent, that person will always be your child. It was a reminder to always keep the lines of communication open with your children because you could be the only person to offer a life line in times of trouble. It was a reminder that things could always be worse so be thankful for the graces that you have now.

There were so many other reminders for me about my life and my family’s trials and tribulations. And who would have thought that I would have gained a little more insight about life from watching ESPN! Thanks hubby for the invitation; I appreciate it.

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joanofalltrades said...

I saw the commercial for the documentary and I definitely want to see it. I am from the DC area and Len Bias was really considered a hero there. Very heartfelt post! We all definitely need to count our blessings and appreciate the people we love.

Justice Fergie said...

You know, it's so interesting that you posted this. I find that the ONLY time I can tolerate watching ESPN or whatever with my Hubby is when there is a documentary or newsstory-type program on. I really like hearing the lifestories behind the athletes. Even the little facts or anecdotes recited by the commentators during a sporting event are interesting to me. Just don't ask me to watch an actual game play!!

Sounds like this one relly stuck with you. Will try to catch it. Pun intended.

mrstdj said...

I taped it and plan to watch this weekend. Hubby also begs me to watch these with him. There are actually quite a few good sports themed documentaries coming to ESPN over the next few weeks/months including 2 that captured my interest: Kings Ransom surrounding the NHL and Wayne Gretsky; and The Band that Wouldn't Die, about the Baltimore Colts packing up in the middle of the night and leaving Baltimore for Indianapolis. Apparently, the unpaid band members continued to practice and perform for the next 12 years, even without a team. Huh??

Mocha Dad said...

I remember Len Bias' death vividly. It was quite tragic and a cautionary tale. I do all I can to show my children love on a daily basis.

Ananda Leeke said...

Len Bias' story was one I grew up with. My brothers went to high school with his brother. We all hurt really bad when he lost his life. That was such a huge lesson. Thanks for sharing it.

La'Tonya Richardson said...

I read this when you first posted it. Last week, I saw that it was coming on and DVR'd it. We're looking forward to watching it this weekend.

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