Nice supplement to the fictional Cosells of Voight and Turturro
This is a nicely done HBO documentary, maybe a little heavy on talking heads and a little light on certain subjects (Cosell's troubled relationship with his Monday Night Football colleagues, the debacle of his variety show), but really good on his relationship with Muhammad Ali, and a strong reminder of his courageous insistence on making sports journalism honest and consequential matter, as well as his inimitable (albeit endlessly imitated) obnoxiousness. For all his faults (which were legion and well-documented), Cosell was a hero in the close-minded, complacently racist and risk-averse sports world of his day--but he was very self-conscious of his heroism and completely immodest about it, and this understandably put a lot of people off. It's very useful as a supplement to the dueling Howards portrayed by Jon Voight (Ali) and John Turturro (Monday Night Mayhem). Both of those actors were excellent in the role; but the documentary reminds you how unusual and intense the real Howard was.
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