Yes, this is about sports. And "worse," about golf. But bear with me a moment, because this is about more than that, and about a documentary, so hear me out first before you rush away...
A couple of months back, when the golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away, I posted several richly-moving videos of a few particular speeches given at the memorial service for him, and also wrote about two absolutely tremendous documentaries on his life produced by NBC for the Golf Channel. One was called Arnie and Me, about the profound impact he had on peoples' lives, and the other, simply called Arnie -- a three-part film narrated by Tom Selleck on the fullness of his life, including a great deal after his playing career ended. I was happily able to find the full film of Arnie and have it here.
I know a lot of people avoid anything about sports -- and that number leaps up immeasurably when it comes to golf, the mere word of which drives some people to unconsciousness. But I hope people will give this documentary a chance...even at its length, two hours and 40 minutes. (Yes, you read that right. But consider this -- if there wasn't SO much rich and wonderful and meaningful and fascinating in Arnold Palmer's life, do you think they could have gotten a 2 hour and 40 minute film about him made?!) It is gorgeously done, moving and quite wonderful. There are few athletes in world sports history who transcend their sport and reach international legend status -- Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Joe Louis, and a few others -- but Arnold Palmer was one of them. And this film helps explains why. It's great -- even the golf parts for those who are bored silly by golf.
But if you simply can't abide golf, no matter how great this documentary is in how it handles such a thing, just to the 1:46 mark and pick up the film there. As I said, this was originally aired in three parts, and that's around where Part Three begins, called "Legacy." It's about the continuing impact of Arnold Palmer's life on society, including his characters and building hospitals for mothers and children. It is so good and so touching and even this one-third of the film will give you a sense of his legend, and why he was utterly beloved by his fellow-competitors, and so many countless others whose life he touched, directly or tangentially, and why his legend lasted and still does today.
Hopefully you'll give the whole thing a chance -- watch the first 10 minutes or so and see if you want to stick around. And no need to watch it all in one sitting, after all it wasn't intended that way but was broadcast in those three parts, each about 50 minutes long. Or watch half an hour at a time. Or...just put aside an evening and jump to the 1:46 mark.
I can't find a way to embed the film, but you can get to it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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