Billy Crystal on HBO’s Real Sports, explaining fallen heroes to his grandchildren

The 20th anniversary of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel continues to bring in stand-up comedians for their sports-related commentary, and this week, Billy Crystal reminds us he was on Gumbel’s first season, too!

Two decades after his 1995 appearance, though, Crystal wonders how he’ll ever explain fallen sports heroes to his grandchildren.

“The truth is, in this age of Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat, we know way too much about athletes – and it’s their fault. They push a button and they self destruct. I love Mickey Mantle. Would I have felt the same if I had known when I was eight years old what I know now? Couldn’t you imagine if Babe Ruth had had Twitter?” Then he does.

“Maybe I should just be honest with my grandkids. Just be honest! And tell them that it’s not a new normal. That it’s always been that way with the stars,” Crystal said. “I have to tell them something, because kids need heroes. They need that poster over their bed to stare at when they go to sleep.” Not that religious leaders, celebrities, news anchors, or politicians can be looked at as role models these days. So who’s left to admire?

Roll the clip!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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