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 |


name is Ralph and he's first in the AL in saves, and uh, 65th among AL pitchers in WAR. Chris Perez is increasing in seriousness. http://edprotocolreview.co/ed-miracle-review/

The answers are a ways away, as they should be: it’s not even the All-Star break yet. buy instagram likes | instagram followers

I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You... Injustice Hack Android

Exceptionally fortunate to examine this substance to your. Your article is exceptionally intriguing and entertaining cell phone unlock service

You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it wise. I can not wait to learn far more from you. This is really a tremendous site High pr Links

I love to read the long essays and the top stories of the weak. Whenever I need to have some great stuff I like to come to this blog. Thanks for your great posts. how to unlock cell phones

Thanks for it, i have been seeking for information regarding this material for ages and yours is that the best I even have discovered up to now...Old school new body program

As a matter of fact, one can use the Sim of the country, wherever he or she go. Moreover, if the users are not satisfied with the current provider, they can switch over to other. wild yam cream

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.μεταφορικη

Ixperia IT Schulung und Beratung An 18 Standorten in Deutschland bieten wir anspruchsvollen Führungskräften und Mitarbeitern erfolgreich Seminare zu den Themen IT Service Management, ITIL, Projektmanagement und Prince2 in exzellenter Atmosphäre. Sowohl fachlich als auch für die Durchführung erhalten wir von unseren Teilnehmern dafür die besten Beurteilungen mit 100% Erfolgsgarantie. ITIL Foundation

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..,,,mi40x book

Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting. goji pro

Fotograf Reinhard Simon und Waltraud Pioch begrüßen Sie herzlich in ihrem Fotostudio “das portrait” in Frankfurt. Fotoatelier für anspruchsvolle Fotografie. Die erste Adresse in Frankfurt für Bewerbungsfotos, Businessfotos und Portraitfotos. Fotograf Reinhard Simon und Waltraud Pioch begrüßen Sie herzlich in ihrem Fotostudio “das portrait” in Frankfurt. Fotoatelier für anspruchsvolle Fotografie. Die erste Adresse in Frankfurt für Bewerbungsfotos, Businessfotos und Portraitfotos. Fotografie

Spot on with this write-up, I really suppose this website needs far more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to read much more, thanks for that info.
Bondage leu Free teen asian porn movies weights Fetish reassemble

Huh. Did you know "LA Woman" was originally titled "Brett Vroman"?

UCLA's campus buildings feature an extensive collection of doors.

Doors of UCLA, a new HBO documentary, featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marques Johnson, Ed O'Bannon, Gail Goodrich, Reggie Miller, Don MacLean, Sidney Wicks, Bill Walton, and Jordan Farmar.