The film poses Bosworth in a north Austin storage unit, where he and his high-school age son, Max, pour through Foster Bosworth's boxes of memorabilia. Bosworth biographer Rick Reilly said Bosworth in the book "took a shot at everyone except his dad. That changes with the film.
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- "Brian and the Boz" gets Switzer's endorsement;
Bosworth takes a shot at virtually no one except his dad. Foster Bosworth is touted as a stage father who constantly pushed his son. In fact, Bosworth talks about how Switzer replaced Foster Bosworth as the father figure in his life.
Bosworth remains contrite, to the point of tears, over his disloyalty to Switzer and the OU program. He says his father was standing in the front row of the Orange Bowl that night. He looked at Foster Bosworth but couldn't look at Switzer.
The T-shirt shows up in Foster Bosworth's box of keepsakes. Max Bosworth is intrigued by the shirt. I've apologized to my teammates and my school and my coach, because this was not necessary. If there's one thing I could take back, I would take this back. So I'll keep it, but I would rather you not idolize it Yeah, we're not wearing it to school, bro.
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It remains an amazing story. How an Oklahoma linebacker became a national pop-culture sensation, to the point that more than 20 years after his final football game, he still was making movies. The story is well-told. Imagine, if only for a moment, how she must have felt when late in the game she learned that for her they did not apply.
The people who hand out endorsement money are not just culturally neutral but, often, morally neutral. Witness whiner John McEnroe, who routinely berated mild-mannered, low-paid officials, or skinhead linebacker Brian Bosworth, who signed with Gillette for Right Guard ads after being suspended for steroid use.
The most famous case is behemoth hoopster Charles Barkley, noted for barroom brawls, talking trash on the court, spitting at a heckling fan he missed and hit a little girl and embarrassing America by beating up on a scrawny member of the hapless Angolan basketball team during the Olympic "dream team" walkover, drawing hisses from the fans in Barcelona. Nike has a Barkley commercial whose theme is "I am not a role model.
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Meanwhile, by holding Barkley et al. Talking trash doesn't go very far in a job interview. And that's not just a throwaway line; a big economic hurdle facing inner-city kids is their cultural aversion to a tool that most of us have shamelessly exploited at some point in our careers: the strategic use of humility and, yes, abject subservience. Nike and other morally numb image-makers have one other malign effect: to help create Tonya Hardings. She did what she did because she had learned a lesson of modern America, and the lesson is exactly the opposite of the one Rich thinks she learned.
It's that winning is everything and can get you anything.
Harding had for some time been proudly calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating. Of course, she seems to have gone too far on the badness front; trying to cripple a competitor violates even the loose standards of pop morality though Nike, playing the populist card against Reebok, has set up a Tonya Harding defense fund.
How much is Brian Bosworth Worth?
And, for that matter, a few prospective sponsors might have shunned Tonya's image even absent the taint from the Kerrigan scandal. But the reason wouldn't be the things Rich cites--polyester, shooting pool, repairing cars--all of which, to any half-decent ad-copy writer, are value-added; the reason would be that Harding once threatened a motorist with a baseball bat for failing to take a right on red, that police had once handcuffed her after she fired a gun in a parking lot, and so on.
Now, there may be, as some have suggested, a kind of sexism here. Wielding a baseball bat menacingly might further endear Barkley to Nike; and, more generally, a bad girl probably attracts less endorsement money than a comparably bad boy.