Shaq vs. Obesity: Mission Accomplished
Say what you will about "Shaq's Big Challenge", I think it turned out to be a fantastic, inspiring 6 episode series. It was able to walk the line between being too preachy and being too cutesy. Granted, they skipped like 5 months of training between the last two episodes, but boy did they get some results (which everyone expected...its TV!). Like I said in my original review of the show, I still applaud it for refraining from sugar coating the "failures" of the kids. They acknowledged that some kids didn't do as well as the others, but ultimately they all had a life changing experience.
There are a couple of things that become readily apparent though at the end of this show.
1. Shaq is probably going to be the most well loved athlete of all time when its all said and done. Sure Jordan and Ali are more recognizable, but Shaq is impossible not to love and has a sense of approachability about him that other superstars dont. And really, Jordan has historically shirked any social duty and has often been called out on it...while shaq is always on the forefront especially when it involves the kids.
2. Dale Brown is a fucking amazing speaker. Shaq called his old LSU head coach, Dale Brown, to join his team to help motivate kids and get his message of healthier living to the beuraucrats in Florida. At first glance, you feel like Brown would stick out like a sore thumb...but when he opens his mouth he makes you want to go to battle for him. Every time he spoke I felt connected to what he was saying. That man truly has a gift.
3. Walter needs his own show. This kid started as a video game addict and ended up losing 60 some pounds but had no problem staying a huge geek. He was obviously Shaq's favorite and consistently the most entertaining kid. He was very witty and totally genuine.
This was a great show, and I will miss it.