"Moneyball," "Air," and the Dilemma of Risk-Averse Millennials
Two sports movies that are about a lot more than sports are 2011’s Moneyball and this year’s Air. Moneyball, based on the Michael Lewis book, dramatizes the radical turnaround for the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 MLB season, a tunaround created by general manager Billy Beane’s embrace of sabermetrics and stat-based team-building. Air tells the story of how Nike put it all on the line to sign Michael Jordan, especially through the relentless efforts of exec Sonny Vaccaro. I’m not going to summarize the whole plots of the films, but the main point is straightforward enough. Moneyball is about how one man stopped taking risks—and won—and Air is about how another man took a massive risk—and also won.