Rarely does a great athlete walk away from competition at the peak of his abilities, but in 2006, after ten seasons with the New York Giants, Tiki Barber hung up his cleats to pursue a career in network TV. The Virginia native landed at NBC as a sports analyst and "Today Show" correspondent, but after his TV career fizzled and his marriage fell apart in public, Barber was transformed from prince of the city to tabloid casualty. Now, at age 36, he's seeking redemption with a return to the gridiron next season. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Armen Keteyian goes one-on-one with Tiki Barber in his first extended TV interview since announcing his NFL comeback.
There is an exclusive club reserved for first overall picks in the NBA draft, including names like Magic, Shaq and LeBron. La Rue Martin, another member of the club, is famous for being the biggest bust in draft history. Selected first by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1972 draft, the former Loyola University (Ill.) center averaged a disappointing five points a game and retired after only four years in the league. Martin began drinking heavily and struggled for years with shame and depression on his rocky path to redemption. REAL SPORTS host Bryant Gumbel returns to De La Salle High School in Chicago, where he and Martin were schoolmates, to tell the story of how La Rue Martin went from dejected basketball retiree at age 26 to successful UPS executive.
As the turmoil continues in Libya, REAL SPORTS chronicles the strange quest of Saadi Qaddafi, third son of Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi, to become an international soccer player. Although his skills were limited, Saadi used his family's wealth and power to buy his way onto some of the world's best soccer teams. Sparing no expense, he recruited a team of professionals that included everything from a nutritionist to a physiotherapist, but nothing could transform him into a pro-caliber athlete. After a failed drug test, he eventually returned to Libya and now serves as commander of special forces in his father's regime. REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel travels to Italy, where Saadi Qaddafi played on several clubs, to tell this bizarre story.
Ann Wolfe dominated women's boxing for almost a decade after turning pro in 1998, holding world titles in four different weight classes simultaneously. However, she suffered devastating blows outside the ropes, including a stretch of homelessness. When HBO's cameras previously caught up with Wolfe, she was about to become the first woman in boxing history to train a man for a world title. Those plans were derailed when her fighter, James Kirkland, went to prison for 18 months. When Kirkland returned from his stretch behind bars, he hired a new trainer, but in April was knocked out in shocking fashion, suffering the first loss of his pro career. REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer reconnects with Ann Wolfe, who is back in James Kirkland's corner, as they set out to make history together.
Posted 12:00 AM | Jun 14, 2011