Finding myths and tall tales in sports is not a very daunting task if you follow them closely. Most people know Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan; two great athletes who revolutionized their sport and have so many different stories about them. As a lifelong sports fan and someone who grew memorizing stats and collecting football cards, I was elated Ryan and Greg were game to record an episode revolving around sports.
The hardest part about this episode is deciding which avenue I wanted to steer us towards that would be fascinating but also add some flair for everyone to enjoy. I wanted a healthy mix of renowned sports myths, but bring to the table some lesser known stories that haven’t had a lot of light shed on them. That’s why I was drawn to the legend of Wade Boggs pounding beers and he military officer who was poisoned from a golf tee. Doc Ellis was an easy choice as well, in addition to Gaylord Perry. I felt like we had a nice cocktail of different lores that people would find interesting.
The one subject I was most apprehensive about bringing up was Rudy Ruettiger. There isn’t so much a myth about him as how big of an inspiration and legend he was to many people of that era. After the movie in 1993, his fame blew up and people found him an inspiration that gave him his big break into a successful career as a motivational speaker. My personal goal here was to get to the facts about Rudy and see what he actually did on the field as opposed to how he was portrayed on the big screen. You can see in the show notes the actual footage of him playing and how, like most things in the world, it was exaggerated and embellished for the sake of narrative.
This podcast is about finding facts and using those facts to contradict well known beliefs. While I may have my own personal feelings on each individual subject we covered, I think we did a damn good job presenting those realities for people to make their own judgments. Did Doc Ellis really throw a no-hitter on LSD? Did Boggs actually consume 107 beers? In the end, we couldn’t undeniably prove that they did but what we did do is show you how these stories become embodied into society as a “matter of fact” and present the case that sometimes the truth isn’t quite as fun as the narrative. But in the end, everyone loves a good story, right?
This is my longwinded way of saying that I hope you guys took as much out of this as we did. I learned a great deal more than I had originally anticipated, as Greg and Ryan would absolutely agree they enjoyed this despite their preconceived notions. I would invite all of you who may find the subject dull or mundane, give it a listen. You me be surprised how much you enjoy it. Much like a curse derived form the cover of a video game, stranger things have happened.