Monday, August 20, 2007

The Bronx is Burning

I’ve been watching The Bronx is Burning lately. Ok. I watched the first episode. It looks great. It’s got a great cast. Oliver Plat as Steinbrenner and John Turturo as Billy Martin are perfect. It is about the Bronx in 1977—not just the Yankees World Championship season, but everything that was happening in that, one of the weirdest and worst years in New York. It focuses everything, especially the Son of Sam killings, through the lens of the Yankees. Thing is, all of that ground was covered much better in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam.

As I think I blogged at the time, that summer was a big deal to me. Reggie Jackson, my favorite baseball player (well, him and Willie Macovey) had just moved to the Yankees. I’d abandoned the As when Charlie O broke them up, and suddenly found myself a Yankees fan. I figured I would root for a team any more. If my favorite pitcher and my favorite hitter wee both on the Yankees I’d root for them. I only watched baseball in October because that’s when the Yankees could be seen on the West Coast.

That summer—the pennant race, the Son of Sam, the blackout, especially the son of Sam—played strongly in California. We were fascinated and terrified by what was going on in New York. That two big media projects have been launched about I in the last few years shows how iconic that summer was for the entire nation.


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