Episode 20: It’s like Kareem without his Goggles

Episode 20: It’s like Kareem without his Goggles

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Putting together a podcast can be time consuming, particularly if it's a narrative one you script out ahead of time. This is an especially packed episode, covering not just almost half a dozen NBA legends, the league's rampant drug scene in the 80's and multiple talented guest stars in Golden Girls history. And yet, I still think I could have dedicated more time to it and one particular subject.

The fact that there's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the issues of race in the NBA tells you that it's a big, important topic. To be frank, I don't think I handled it all that well in the episode. 

Today's NBA players are well aware of the league's history and are more outspoken than ever. LeBron James is far more socially conscious than his idol Michael Jordan ever was. After the horror of Charlottesville last year, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves called for action following the most racist gathering the nation had seen in some time. And championship coaches Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr take on a certain president who shall remain nameless on a weekly basis, calling out his crass cluelessness and idiocy in the face of a divided country he only wants to bleed dry.

When I say that the names Nat Clifton, Earl Lloyd and Chuck Cooper should be better known by casual sports fans, I mean myself, too. Why they're not held in as high esteem as Jackie Robinson, I don't know. As a hockey fan, I know the name of Willie O'Ree, the NHL's first black player, but not many outside the game do. And that's a shame.

What all of these guys went through, I'll never understand. Certainly not by sitting at home producing a podcast about a 30-year-old TV show. All I can do is pass on their names and hope their stories endure to influence others to similar acts of strength.

Racism is also a factor in the story of Bill Dana and his most famous character, Jose Jimenez. Although his "killing" of the character is a frequently cited event in his career, less known is how Dana later regretted Jose's retirement. He was surprised that this character that he and others didn't see as a racist stereotype would be happily buried by the people he supposedly represented, then later hated the way Jose went out. 

The interview in which he talked about that "emotional whiplash" was on the Emmy TV Legends.org site and unfortunately didn't lend itself to easy inclusion on the podcast. Here's the interview in its entirety. I don't think Dana quite gets across why he felt Jose was retired too early, but it's clear he does regret it and has a lot of conflicting emotions and memories about it.

It's easy for me to say, but I think Dana moving away from Jose was the best outcome, especially knowing how beloved he would be as Uncle Angelo. 


REFERENCES

Colucci, Jim. Golden Girls Forever. Harper Design, 2017. (Amazon link)

White, Betty. Here We Go Again: My Life In Television. Scribner, 2010 (Amazon Link).

1950-51 SEASON OVERVIEW, NBA's Color Line Is Broken, NBA.com

Six Who Paved the Way, Pistons.nba.com, by Dave Howell

National Basketball Association Trio – breaking the NBA color barrier in 1950, Negro Leagues History.com, by Mike Gastineau, October 27, 2017

Race and ethnicity in the NBA Wikipeda entry

Star of Stage and Screen, John McMartin Passes Away at 86, Broadwayworld.com, July 7, 2016

RETURN OF OLD GOGGLE-EYES, Sports Illustrated, by Pat Putnam, December 9, 1974

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR: THE GREATEST GOGGLES IN NBA HISTORY, Basketball Goggles.com, February 14, 2011

Widespread Cocaine Use by Players Alarms NBA, Los Angeles Times, by Chris Cobb, August 20, 1980

The FBI Investigated Knicks Players In The '80s For Allegedly Fixing Games For A Drug Dealer, Business Insider.com, by Michael B Kelley, September 15, 2013

The Drugs, Sex, and Swagger of the 1980s Lakers--Plus How They'd Match Up to the Miami Heat Today, GQ Magazine, by Peter Schrager, March 18, 2014

A History of NBA Players That Were Banned Due to Drug Abuse, Complex,com, by Angel Diaz and Doug Sibor, October 13, 2016

Comedian Bill Dana, Who Played the Character Jose Jimenez, Dies at 92, The Hollywood Reporter, by Mike Barnes, June 19, 2017

Bill Dana, Comic Best Known for José Jiménez Character, Dies at 92, New York Times, by Bruce Weber, June 19, 2017

Bill Dana, comedian who came to regret the success of Jose Jimenez character, dies at 92, The Associated Press, June 26, 2017

Marfan Syndrome Bio-Medicine.org entry

Brent Collins Wikipedia entry

Bias not the only sad story in cursed '86 draft, Hoops Hype.com, by Chris Tomasson, June 15, 2011


MUSIC via FREEMUSICARCHIVE.ORG

Minuet - Notebook for Anna Magdalena by Aaron Dunn

Suburb by Komiku

Breeze Funk by Malaventura

Kar Designer by Marsel Minga

Clash under the Big Bridge by Soft and Furious

When the blood driving the self by Soft and Furious

Through the gravitational field by TRG Banks

Episode 21: This isn’t the Orange Bowl, is it?

Episode 21: This isn’t the Orange Bowl, is it?

Episode 19: Take me out to the ballgame, Stanley

Episode 19: Take me out to the ballgame, Stanley