Slaying the Badger

Slaying the Badger ★★★★★

The real pleasure of the 30 For 30 series sometimes is a film comes along that both draws you in with the story to be told, and (at least from my perspective as someone who's not generally interested in sports) can also educate you to the intricacies of the sport in a way aligned with the human drama that isn't boring.

That is certainly the case here with me. What very little I knew about cycling began and ended with Lance Armstrong. I hadn't realized an American had won the Tour de France before, nor cared much. But about 10 minutes into this, I was swept completely into this world. And came away with great admiration for Greg LeMond.

Also an admiration for the Tour itself. Even in the rather low-res footage, it has some amazing shots of France you'd probably otherwise see in a travel show. But here it's the field of play, and it provides an appropriately dramatic setting for the story told.

In America there is a grossly over-stated emphasis on competition and winning, that affects most facets of life here. And since the Reagan administration, it has mostly materialized in ghastly ways. But on the other hand, there are times where it is put to good use and shows the American character in a better light. This is certainly one of those stories.

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