ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: The Great Imposter (2013)

Directed by Matt Dillmore

Most sports fans will almost always have had aspirations to join their athletic heroes in the arena, on the field of play, to join in the glory and enjoyment of sport at the highest level. But we all realize that is merely a pipe dream given our athletic talents, we instead choose to play fantasy sports and argue until the end of time as though we know what we are talking about when it comes to sports. Barry Bremen, however, did decide to do something about it. Bremen became known as ‘The Great Imposter’ during the 1980s as a common man who found ways into locker room and fields of play in order to gain a few minutes of notoriety.

Barry’s fame did not last sadly, as his gig soon feel to the hands of the law and his shenanigans began to routinely end in arrest, somewhat of an annoyance for Barry’s wife and children. The latest 30 for 30 short is a peculiar one, and not only for its subject of a man posing and dressing up to gain access to professional sports. the director, Matt Dillmore does little more than glorify Bremen in his brief synopsis of the enigmatic character. There is no style to the film, and very little substance or attempt to present an interesting story.

Shorts are often tricky, as they must present the topic in a condensed fashion, and maybe there is more to this story than what we see, but the film’s failure is its inability to hook me into it. The tid-bits they do provide fail to suggest anything deeper to the story than the chronology of his attempts. Cool, he had George Brett help him get into the All Star Game. Cool, he met famous people (oh, and this section suggests he did what he did to meet “people”, otherwise known as famous people and get his name in the paper).

Maybe I am a curmudgeon in this day and age, as the film suggests, in which antics like these would never be tolerated for even a nanosecond. The world has changed, yes, but letting crazed people in the field of play for a thrill, or for a good bit of “fun” does not seem safe, or even practical. That is why they have contests and such nowadays to handle the “dream” scenario of meeting your athletic heroes. Looking at a story like this, presented in such a bland, uninteresting fashion, only makes me thankful it was over, and that there will be other, far better shorts to come in this series.

** – Poor


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