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Like any typical father, Gle

  • 14 March 2019
    导出博客文章Novak Djokovic has historically basked in the glow of the spotlight at the
    Londons O2 Arena, but for Andy Murray, the glare during the ATP World Tour
    Finals has usually been harsh, exposing his weaknesses and shortcomings.It might
    be a different story for the new world No. 1 this year.On Monday, Murray
    launched his campaign to consolidate the No. 1 ranking he lifted from Djokovics
    hands a little more than a week ago in Paris. He crushed Marin Cilic in the
    first match of the round-robin stage, 6-3, 6-2, in an hour and a half.
    Afterward, Murray admitted in his on-court interview, Its one of the best
    matches I have played here.It also was one of the most timely demonstrations of
    the hardworking 29-year-old Scots rewarding, but often frustrating, career.Like
    Rafael Nadal, a fellow member of the Big Four, Murray has never won the
    eight-man ATP grand finale. Unlike Nadal, Murray hasnt even made a final at the
    year-enders despite his expertise on hard courts. Its surprising when you
    consider the adulation from a besotted British crowd beaming down at him and the
    hybrid round-robin format that allows a player various backdoor ways to
    advance.Murray has qualified for nine finals (eight at the palatial O2 Arena),
    but his win against Cilic barely nudged him over the .500 mark in his year-end
    career (12-11). Murrays 6-0, 6-1 loss to 33-year-old Roger Federer in 2014 was a
    career low point -- and a painful embarrassment.Meanwhile, Djokovic is working
    on his fifth consecutive and sixth overall WTF title.The O2 arena is basically
    deep enemy territory for Murray. Djokovic has every right to pound his chest (as
    we know, hes not above it) and bellow, This is MY house! Chez Djokovic isnt
    exactly the place Murray would choose to turn his fortunes around, but recent
    events have conspired to turn this tournament into just that -- a showdown for
    the No. 1 ranking, as well as the even more precious year-end No. 1
    ranking.Murray is the 26th man to reach No. 1 on the ATP computer. But only 16
    have finished a calendar year as top man. Murray needs to go one round further
    than Djokovic (or to beat him in the final) to secure the honors.Until he
    actually became No. 1, Murray had been protesting that hitting the summit was
    not really his goal this fall. He declared he might have a better shot at in
    next spring. Far from the O2 Arena. Far from Chez Djokovic.Forget the prattle
    about how tough everyone is in the draw; this one was a gift handed to the
    beleaguered Djokovic. He is 24-0 against the three other players in his group
    --?Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem (whom Djokovic beat Sunday) and Gael
    Monfils.Meanwhile, Murray was a solid but vulnerable 27-12 against the men in
    his field --?Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Cilic. To top it off, Cilic hit
    his career-high ranking of No. 7 just a week ago, and he hammered Murray in the
    Cincinnati final the last time they met.I dont feel any different this week than
    I did the week before when I get up in the morning and stuff, Murray said in the
    pretournament news conference in London.It was an uh-oh moment, saved only when
    he almost grudgingly elaborated on the effect of becoming the top player: Maybe
    when you step on court, you have a little more confidence, feel a little better
    about yourself when youre hitting balls and getting ready for the
    tournament.That confidence showed in his match with Cilic. Although Murray got
    off to a rocky start, smacking errant forehands and jabbering at his players
    guest box, he soon settled down, breaking Cilic to take a 3-1 lead. Murray won
    59 percent of his second-serve points, and his aggressive return game paid off
    with four breaks in five break-point chances. Cilic also had five break points
    but converted just one.Murray attributed his sharp response to critical moments
    to the confidence he has accumulated in the course of a winning streak that now
    stands at 20 matches. Hell probably need to puff himself up even more
    assertively in the coming days because of the stakes in play.Winning this event
    is a very tall order for Murray, but he has been handling such demands with
    great resolve all fall. He has landed more squarely in the spotlight than ever
    before -- and the glare didnt seem nearly as bleak on Monday.
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    . The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the
    Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset
    against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio
    as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three
    months. The incredibly powerful, moving documentary film on Steve Gleasons life
    opens with his face pressed up close to the camera, having an intimate
    conversation with his unborn son.But it also feels as if he is talking directly
    to us, the audience.My No. 1 focus and purpose is to share with you who I am.
    And to give you as much of myself as I possibly can, while I can, Gleason
    says.And, wow, does he deliver.Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints special
    teamer/cult hero, made one of the greatest plays in team history with his
    blocked punt on the night the Superdome reopened after Hurricane Katrina. Then
    he became a celebrated champion for those suffering from ALS after he was
    diagnosed with the merciless disease in 2011. A statue of him titled, Rebirth
    was erected outside of the Superdome to honor both achievements.But in this
    film, Gleason reveals things like five minutes after he got home from that
    statue ceremony, I pooped all over myself and my wheelchair.And I think its
    crazy that I can go from people saying, Youre my hero to having to be helped
    onto a toilet with my pants full of s---, Gleason tells the camera, tells his
    son, tells all of us.Its an incredible example of the polarities and dichotomies
    and juxtapositions that is my life.Gleason and his wife Michel Varisco share the
    most intimate moments of their lives in Gleason, which opens Friday in select
    cities throughout the country. Their greatest triumphs and struggles are equally
    laid bare for the audience.Tear-jerking moments like the birth of their son
    Rivers, or the gift they give to a fellow ALS patient as their Team Gleason
    foundation begins its remarkable mission.Gut-wrenching moments like Gleason
    screaming to the camera, I want to punch something, but I cant! or wailing to
    his father, My soul is saved!Intimate moments like Steve apologizing to Michel
    in the bathroom, or pestering her about why theyve become so distant.And,
    believe it or not, many moments of biting humor -- even when Gleason is
    receiving an enema.Honestly, I had no idea that this was gonna be ... Michel
    says, before catching herself. I probably should have thought of it, because
    Steve is who he is. But every day, the stuff that they filmed, I had no idea how
    big it would get.And I think thats why its so raw and real and Im wearing Steves
    underwear for half the movie.Documenting the true version of GleasonWhat makes
    the film so raw and so real is that it started out as a series of video journals
    that Gleason began producing for his child when they first found out Michel was
    pregnant just six weeks after he was diagnosed -- not knowing if they would ever
    truly get the chance to know each other.I wanted to be sure he didnt get the
    storybook sports dad version of me, Gleason said via email this week. I wanted
    him to know the raw, imperfect, flailing person that we all are, especially
    me.So he recorded everything -- first by himself with a camcorder or cellphone,
    then later with young filmmakers Ty Minton-Small and David Lee, who basically
    moved in with the family.Only later was the idea generated to make a film that
    could help bring awareness to the plight of those battling ALS around the globe,
    which was when accomplished documentary filmmaker Clay Tweel joined the
    project.Im so proud of Steve and Michel, to have the courage and willingness to
    share their story, said former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, a close friend
    who helped spearhead the project as a first-time movie producer. Everyone whos
    seen this film walks away from it feeling something [even if theyre] unable to
    articulate exactly what that something is. Theyre angry, theyre excited, theyre
    happy, they laughed, they cried. But theyre inspired to do something, and thats
    a good thing.It sticks on you.Gleason admitted that he still gets extremely
    anxious before each screening of the movie at film festivals or premieres --
    much like how he felt preparing for a game during his seven-year playing
    career.Its exciting. Crazy, but exciting, Gleason said this week. The decision
    to share the footage was not easy, and I wouldnt say Michel or I are completely
    comfortable with it. But we also had a feeling that the footage could have an
    impact on an audience beyond football or ALS. That seems to be the case as the
    movie has rolled out. People who have no connection to ALS or football are
    connecting to and being changed by the film.Michel, who is extremely candid in
    the film about having no desire to be a hero or a saint, said it has been
    affirming to hear from people like a woman she met after a screening in
    Washington D.C. who has a spouse with ALS and couldnt wait for all of her
    friends and family to see the film.Its always gonna feel weird, Michel said. But
    the more the movie is seen and the more we see how its impacting people and
    affecting people, its so tremendous that it makes sharing our complete private,
    intimate life -- it makes it more bearable. It makes it OK. ... It makes me feel
    proud of all of us.Bringing Gleasons story to the screenAnother of Gleasons
    former teammates, Drew Brees, signed on with his wife Brittany to help fund the
    project as a co-executive producer.ddddddddddddrees own 2010 memoir/motivational
    book was titled, Coming Back Stronger as he shared his story of returning from a
    major injury. But Brees said when it comes to the idea of overcoming adversity,
    Gleason is absolutely the best example I could ever think of.Listen, none of us
    know what we would ever do if we were faced with our own mortality, how that
    would affect us, Brees said. And I think in this film you see the struggles and
    the phases that he goes through with coping with that reality. ... And yet, just
    the power of the mind and the spirit, which he has more than any person Ive ever
    known, it just gives you so much hope.The documentary premiered at the Sundance
    Film Festival in January and was quickly bought by Amazon Studios, which is
    partnering with Open Road Films to release the movie. Gleason has earned rave
    reviews and awards at various festivals throughout the year -- as well as some
    Oscar buzz.Fujita admitted those types of things were mentioned in early
    beer-and-pizza planning sessions with another original producer -- Michels
    former college roommate, Kimi Culp -- but it never seemed like a realistic goal
    until much later.Fujita and Culp were the ones who gathered together several
    investors, including Brees and other NFL players and coaches. And they were the
    ones who sought out a director to take an estimated 1,300 hours of footage and
    craft it into a masterpiece.Tweel was the perfect choice, not only for his
    skills as a director but because of the personal connection he felt with the
    project. Tweels sister has multiple sclerosis, and his father was Muhammad Alis
    attorney for 30 years.I got sent a little teaser trailer clip a couple years
    ago. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once, Tweel said of what
    attracted him to the project. It just moved me in a way that I havent been moved
    before, and it was only six minutes long.Tweel said what makes the film so
    special is not only the intimate footage but Steve and Michel themselves.They
    are hilarious. And they totally light up a room, and its such a joy to be in
    their presence, that we wanted to get that across, too, Tweel said.Just a normal
    fatherAlthough Michel doesnt want to be a hero, she emerges as the co-star -- if
    not the star -- of this film. The camera often reveals her silent plight -- the
    fear in her eyes when she notices Steve starting to lose his physical abilities,
    how drained she looks as she feeds both Steve and Rivers at the same time.And
    she bluntly delivers lines like, I dont want to be like a devil or a d---face,
    but I dont want to be a saint either. I just want to be a real person.Another
    scene stealer is Blair Casey, a family friend of Michels who became an
    invaluable part of the family as a caretaker.They have more help now, with a
    small team of caregivers joining that family while Michel is focusing on
    motherhood and her artwork, and Casey is working full-time for the foundation.
    But Gleason said, Blair and Michel represent the best of that support.Luckily I
    had their humor and strength as we adapted to this new life, Gleason said.And
    then there is Rivers, who isnt featured heavily in the film but remains its
    heart and soul.As the movie began taking shape, Gleason envisioned it focusing
    on the relationship between fathers and sons, with his complicated relationship
    with his own father also dissected in several powerful scenes.One of the many
    tear-jerking moments in the film comes when Gleason tells Rivers: At this point
    it looks like were not gonna have the normal father-son relationship. I cant
    play catch with you ... but Im gonna do everything I can to be a good father, to
    give you what a son needs from his father. And Im gonna be around, buddy.Its not
    gonna be easy, but its gonna be awesome. And Im gonna be around until you are
    able to stand on your own as a man.Rivers is almost 5 years old now, and as I
    watched that scene, I was taken back to a recent conversation I had with Gleason
    at a charity softball game, when I asked him about Rivers budding baseball
    career. Like any typical father, Gleason proudly offered to show off some video
    clips.If youre looking for a happy ending to Gleasons story, that is it, as much
    as anything else he and Team Gleason have accomplished with the Steve Gleason
    Act being signed into law or a state-of-the-art care facility being built in New
    Orleans or the Ice Bucket Challenge turning into a national phenomenon.With the
    help of an incredible care crew, and some bad-ass technology, I pick [Rivers] up
    from school every day, Gleason said. We have excellent conversation. I go to all
    his practices. Im teaching him the nuances of baseball. We listen to a wide
    range of music. In many ways, I feel like weve conquered ALS, and its great to
    have our foundation help others do the same.For Rivers, Im just a normal father.
    For me, thats very exciting. ' ' '