Aug 11, 2010

After The Hits

Correspondent: Bernard Goldberg
Producer: Joe Perskie

Real Sports' investigative team, which captured the Sports Emmy Award(r) for "Outstanding Journalism" in 2008 for its revealing report on the long-term health implications of concussions, returns with an all-new extended segment reporting for the first time on the discovery of a link between sports concussions and one of the most feared diseases known to man:  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or "Lou Gehrig's Disease."  The report chronicles the innovative work of Harvard-educated researcher Chris Nowinski and Boston University's Dr. Ann McKee, who together have researched the connection between on-field head trauma to health risks like dementia and depression over the past several years.  In this exclusive report, correspondent Bernard Goldberg identifies clusters of athletes around the world that are afflicted by ALS at alarming rates, from soccer players in Italy to football players in Canada to NFL players in the U.S.  Real Sports also takes a fresh look at the career and injury history of Yankees legend Lou Gehrig, while discovering some clues as to how and why "The Iron Horse" may have been tragically struck down in the prime of his baseball career.  Interviews include: Steve Smith (former NFL player); Chie Smith (wife of Steve Smith); Dr. Adriano Chio; Tony Proudfoot (former CFL player); Dr. Ann McKee; Chris Nowinski; Mary Hilgenberg (widow of former NFL player Wally Hilgenberg); and Scott LeDoux (former heavyweight contender).

Keeping Up With The Salahis

Correspondent: Bernard Goldberg
Producer: Nick Dolin

Michaele and Tareq Salahi burst into the national spotlight last November when they were investigated for "crashing" President Obama's first state dinner at the White House. While the couple remains adamant that they did nothing wrong, their 15 minutes of fame and controversy has endured. Among their many high-profile ventures is an annual charity polo event, "America's Polo Cup," which is held at the National Mall in D.C. and is marketed as a fundraiser for charitable causes. However, the event has caught the eye of state regulators in Virginia who are reviewing the couple's fundraising practices. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg travels to the nation's capital in this Real Sports/Sports Illustrated collaboration to meet the Salahis, and find out why a number of people who helped the couple put on their annual polo event are now saying the Salahis didn't hold up their end of the deal.

Back in Bellaire (revisit)

Producer: David Scott

HBO Sports revisits its February 2009 investigative piece on Robbie Tolan, the young black minor league baseball player shot by a police officer on his parent's doorstep in Bellaire, Tex., a white enclave in the greater Houston area. Tolan dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father, retired Major League Baseball outfielder Bobby Tolan. But in the early morning of Dec. 31, 2008, those dreams came to a halt when police held him at gunpoint and wrongly accused him of driving a stolen car. When his parents protested and were themselves detained by police, the confrontation led to Robbie Tolan being nearly fatally shot in the chest. Since the story first aired, Jeffrey Cotton, the officer who shot Tolan was indicted and tried for aggravated assault and finally acquitted in a jury trial, angering many in the black community. The Tolans now vow to press a federal civil rights case against the officer and Bellaire. Real Sports has obtained footage from the night of the shooting in which Officer Cotton describes to investigators why he fired at Tolan. With the bullet still lodged in his liver, Robbie Tolan has miraculously returned to minor league baseball to pursue his dream of playing in the big leagues like his father.