Coming June 5 from
Atlantic Monthly Press
The Comeback chronicles the life of one of America’s greatest athletes, from his roots in the windswept hills of Nevada's Washoe Valley to the heights of his global fame at the Tour de France. With a swift narrative drive and a fierce attention to detail, Daniel de Visé reveals the dramatic, ultra-competitive inner world of a sport rarely glimpsed up close, and builds a compelling case for LeMond as its great American hero.
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Families sit down to watch The Andy Griffith Show expecting not just a story but a lesson. The best Griffith episodes teach something - - about family, or friendship, or loyalty, or living well. It almost seems as if producers of the classic CBS sitcom set out to nudge the nation’s moral compass, although Griffith writers always denied any ethical agenda.
Some of the preachiest Griffith episodes were those that spotlighted Ronny Howard as Opie, because they allowed the writers to showcase Sheriff Andy at his most fatherly, dispensing paternal wisdom to his television son. In “Opie the Birdman,” Opie accidentally kills a bird and learns to take responsibility for his actions. In “Opie’s Hobo Friend,” Opie drifts away from his father’s influence, and Andy must reel him back in. And in “A Medal for Opie,” first broadcast on February 12, 1962, the sheriff teaches his son to find dignity in defeat.
Last week brought the Super Bowl, an annual ritual that yields arguably the biggest winner in all of American sports - - and also the biggest loser. The game produced two distinct story lines: the decisive victory of the Denver Broncos, and the brooding post-game performance of losing quarterback Cam Newton, who stormed out of a press conference.
Here, surely, was a moment for fatherly wisdom. A few days after the game, a Griffith Show fan named Richard Gilbreath craftily pasted Cam Newton’s face atop Opie’s body to repurpose a memorable scene from the season-two Griffith episode “A Medal for Opie.”
Click here to read the rest of my latest post for Classic Movie Hub.