Time To Wallow In The Mire, or Ray Manzarek Ruins Basketball

Share |

As a general rule, HBO’s sports documentaries have been pretty great. Yes, some of them tend toward hagiography, and the music can oftentimes be punishingly “heroic,” to the point where the score from The Natural would tell these pieces to take it down a notch. Even with these caveats, though, HBO’s output is generally well done, full of great archival footage and admirably focused on painting a picture broader than the usual simpled-down sports story. See Mantle, for instance, for a reasonable mixture of hero worship and idol smashing on the subject of Mickey Mantle. (Warning: It contains heavy Billy Crystal content.)

One of my favorites among HBO sports docs is The UCLA Dynasty, a survey of John Wooden’s years in Westwood. It tells a fascinating story of how this strait-laced Hoosier used his almost Ned Flanders-esque earnestness to craft one ultra-disciplined, going-on-unbeatable championship team after another while the world outside Pauley Pavilion was literally going up in flames. As Watts burned down and the Black Panthers had gun battles with the LAPD, Wooden was somehow able to convince his charges of the importance of putting on their socks in the correct manner. It’s a great story.

In the standard HBO sports-doc format, we often receive testimonials from celebrity sports fans, or in the case of college teams, famous people who attended these institutions. The UCLA Dynasty gives us a few of these, such as Penelope Spheeris, Mark Harmon, and Beau Bridges. (The latter two were also student athletes during the Wooden administration’s dynastic period) There is one alum interviewed, however, who nearly brings the whole production crashing down around him. That would be Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

If you’re wondering about Manzarek’s hoop bona fides, you should know that he provided the musical accompaniment for Bill Walton’s spoken word album Men Are Made in the Paint. (Yes, that is a thing that actually happened, thanks to Greg Ginn) So I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that his appreciation for the sport of basketball is sincere. I am not, however, prepared to forgive him for this brief but excruciating segment in which he explains to us the greatness of the school’s first national champions with a vocabulary consisting entirely of Doors song titles:

In a documentary that is otherwise commendable, this one tiny sequence feels like biting into an apple and finding half a worm. Only the worm is hilariously self-important and was barfed-upon by Jim Morrison literally hundreds of times.

The first inclination is to blame the director; just because you filmed Manzarek saying this doesn’t mean you have to use it. But it’s also tough not to wonder whether this bit was whittled down from a 20-minute fantasia where Manzarek just kept going on, naming title after title. “Crystal Ship!...Touch Me!...People are Strange, man!”

Manzarek only makes one other appearance in this doc, but it too is a needle-across-the-record doozy. It comes during a segment that tries to convey the political context of what was going on at UCLA, and on pretty much every other college campus, in the late 1960s. The basketball team was not completely isolated from this, as many athletes were vocal about their political consciousness. Walton participated in anti-war demonstrations, and several Bruins refused to participate in the 1968 Olympics, with Lew Alcindor being the most prominent of those objectors. That Wooden was able to bridge a generation gap without being an intractable drill sergeant-type makes his accomplishments even more impressive.

How does Manzarek sum up this tumultuous period? By explaining The Doors to us, of course.

And there you have it. The 1960s were a time not only of The Doors, but also Doors-inspired college basketball.

Share |

Comments

This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information. discount tote handbags

I cherish this site!! The blaze up the top is marvelous!! escorts lebanon

I simply discovered this online journal and have high trusts in it to proceed. Keep up the considerable work, its elusive great ones. I have added to my top picks. Much obliged to You. BonsaiTreeGardener

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. el calentamiento global

Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post. we need work out more techniques in this regard. thanks for sharing. office furniture

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing data about it. I truly like that. Much appreciated so part for your meet. collectables

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Lcd display iphone 6

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. BVR Collagen

Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern. I look forward to read more. eating plans to lose weight for a wedding

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work best Cordless Drill

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging, thesysadmins.co.uk

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. custom coroplast boxes

I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my blogs but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it? ไทยหัวข้อน่าสนใจ

Hey, I discover perusing this article a delight. It is amazingly useful and intriguing and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work.. pheasant feathers bulk

Thanks for creating this type of great report, I study several post and came on your website. I love your type of writing... junk removal demolition trash Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH

A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to examine this, I feel emphatically about it and love adapting more on this theme. In the event that conceivable, as you pick up aptitude, would you mind upgrading your web journal with additional data? It is greatly useful for me. kit tattoo

I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. thesysadmins.co.uk

Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Oldschool Runescape Gold

Impressive web site. Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. Im moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter. which is very enjoyable. but I need to additional expand. Regards. Jewellery

Impressive web site. Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. Im moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter. which is very enjoyable. but I need to additional expand. Regards. cancer treatment in mexico

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, the good stuff share with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. her explanation

Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would you like to see some other posts on the same subject! Detailed info here

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. her comment is here

I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job! eu book shop

If more people that write articles really concerned themselves with writing great content like you, more readers would be interested in their writings. Thank you for caring about your content. magnets

Good site! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day! m88 link

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog. China sustainability

Very Nice Blog. I like the way you explained these things. I’ve been looking for ways to improve my website and overall rankings.I hope your future back tax help

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. detroit seo

I have added and shared your site to my social media accounts to send people back to your site because I am sure they will find it extremely helpful too. Birmingham Photographer

This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. Check it out

Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. geriatric care manager

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in. but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know. house for sale in addis ababa

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. I really appreciate your post. It is very helpful for all the people on the web. private jets

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice weekend. Behemoth Tour 2017

I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to my bookmarks registry of deeds

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me. Brimingham photographer

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. washer repair

I really like your take on the issue. I now have a clear idea on what this matter is all about.. voyance amour

What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much. live soccer online

Good post. I learn some thing tougher on distinct blogs everyday. Most commonly it really is stimulating to learn to read content material from other writers and exercise a specific thing there. drop.me

I should state, I thought it was quite a fascinating study as it pertains to this matter. Preferred the content. . . Affordable dentist in Mill Creek

I'm certainly very happy to read this blog site posts which carries plenty of helpful data, thanks for providing such information. Flooring Austin

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. http://www.digitalaspire.co

Where it will assist to transform your existence from suffering to conquer the mind most cancers death sentence to self-made. FIFA 18

I found Hubwit as a transparent s ite, a social hub which is a conglomerate of Buyers and Sellers who are ready to offer online digital consultancy at decent cost. click here

Hey – great blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a really nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my blogs but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it? natural system

I simply couldn’t go away your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information an individual provide on your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently in order to inspect new posts. Forte dei Marmi

There wеrе individuаlѕ or groups of реорlе рооling thеir mоnеу whо agreed tо make buѕinеѕѕ loans for nеw buѕinеѕѕ соnсерtѕ, but thеу kерt еvеrуthing strictly informal. Absolute Digital Media

Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! Brisbane food delivery