This tape features raw footage for the documentary "Veeck: A Man For Any Season." In this video, Veeck is interviewed in Assembly Hall at the Illinois high school basketball championship tournament in Champaign.
00:00Copy video clip URL Continuation of interview from previous video. Veeck continues his analysis of particular games during the tournament. He comments on the role of emotion in high pressure situations such as this and gives the players a lot of credit in maintaining their poise.
02:15Copy video clip URL Veeck relays his history of coming to the tournament for the past 33 years, telling the story of how he often runs into the Judson twins from the Hebron basketball team, the smallest team to ever win the state title. He calls this nostalgia and connection with others as one of the greatest things about the tournament. He goes on to decry the split of Class A and AA basketball in Illinois, calling it discrimination against the little teams. “How many people would’ve heard about Goliath if David hadn’t beaten his brains out? He’d have been just another local bully wandering around!”
05:15Copy video clip URL Veeck highlights the fact that he’s been involved in basketball and football, as well as baseball. “In sports, I like scholastic [high school] basketball, collegiate football, and professional baseball.” He explains that professional basketball becomes static because the level of performance is so high that it’s not even fun anymore. He proposes that professional basketball should have 5 out of 9 four-minute games because the last few minutes are all that count in professional basketball anyway. He comments that baseball has the benefit of the “magic formula of 90 feet between bases” which seems to continue to challenge even professional players both offensively and defensively.
07:30Copy video clip URL He goes on to speak of the social nature of sports, that he expands his circle of friends each year when he comes to the tournament, and when he sees people outside this context, they immediately have a connection for having had the same experience at the tournament.
09:20Copy video clip URL Veeck starts a side conversation with Jose, who steps into the press box. They discuss the games and the players from the tournament, and make predictions about the upcoming state finals.
11:45Copy video clip URL Jose steps away, and Veeck takes advantage of the down time from the interview by chatting with those around him, joking and laughing.
14:30Copy video clip URL The interview continues, as he’s asked how he keeps things fresh after all these years. He starts to talk about the differences in new stadiums, that their design takes away the fun of the game in many ways. He goes on to talk about his enjoyment of new experiences and how “you might as well be dead if you don’t enjoy it.” He talks about “little things,” pointing out the cheerleaders and how their routines have changed over the years, and at the same time, they are connected to the past. He also points out that it’s good to go to Champaign every year because people are nice when you park your car. He contrasts this with life in Chicago.
18:43Copy video clip URL End of tape.