The headline’s a joke. Every episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is very special.
Maybe I’m scraping the bottom of the “boxing in pop culture barrel” here, but honestly, I think it’s a good thing that Sunday night, Oscar De La Hoya will guest star in a show on one of the major networks, ABC. And it’s sweeps week. The marriage between the manliest of sports and a television program that strives for maximum uplifting tears is no less strange for it, though. From the ABC news release, just try not to cry while reading the description of what the episode’s about:
In Geneva, NY, Ty and the designers tell the Hill family that they will receive a brand new home in place of their 200 year-old house, enabling them to keep and improve their boxing gym for underprivileged teens. Tim Hill was an aspiring boxer whose dreams were shattered when he broke his back while working on a construction site. Unable to box anymore, he went back to college for a degree in social work and afterwards worked as a counselor for high school kids. It was during this time that he was inspired to start the Geneva Boxing Team. For over 10 years, Tim has been training kids from the ages of 8 to 21 to box for free, and pays all the expenses out of his pocket. To incorporate the theme of the family’s love of boxing, boxing champs Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman appear in the episode. In addition, ESPN Anchors John Saunders and Brian Kenny got to “call” the demolition of the house in the spirit of a boxing match.
The Golden Boy Promotions news release said De La Hoya would make “two surprise announcements” to the family. The Angelo Dundee cat is already out of the bag. But enough joshing around. I give this move to foist boxing back into the mainstream no worse than an A-. And I give De La Hoya himself the last word:
“Tim and Michelle are real heroes and I admire what they have done for their community,” said De La Hoya. “Their unselfish acts of kindness have brought an entire community together by taking kids off the rough streets and allowing them to train in their gym free of charge. This facility has been a second home to most of the kids in the community and I’m pleased to be a part of making the gym more affordable for the Hills. The next time I’m in New York I plan on visiting the Hill family’s new house and boxing gym.”