There are only two occasions when it's acceptable for a grown man to cry: while listening to Lou Gehrig's farewell speech and while watching Brian's Song, the 1971 tearjerker about Bears halfback Gale Sayers and his doomed teammate Brian Piccolo. On Sunday, ABC airs a remake of "Song, starring Sean Maher as Piccolo and Mekhi Phifer as Sayers (near right). We asked World Toughman heavyweight champ Hardbody Harrison, 35, for his thoughts on the film.
The remake is much more touching than the original because you see more of Piccolo's life while he's suffering from cancer. Piccolo had a lot of love for his wife and kids—the original didn't show that. It made you think he was just another football-playing jock. You also see the friendship between Piccolo and Sayers develop, really bridging the color gap. Sayers initially came off as arrogant, but he was just shy and didn't know how to express himself. As for Piccolo, they finally gave him a personality in this movie. Now he's someone you can relate to.
As far as crying goes, it's definitely a tearjerker, but no, I didn't cry. The men who'll cry at this movie will be men who haven't been through it They'll say, "Man, this guy is catching it hard. This disease is spreading, and he's got a family. He's making money but not enough. Can this happen to me?" Me, I've been in both of these guys' shoes. Like Sayers, I'm a minority and I've had to take less money because of my color. Like Piccolo, I've been second-string. I've also gone through tough times—I've had two brothers stabbed. Those things took away all my tears.