Clearly the whole Jim Thorpe controversy is a story with legs. For one thing it’s been going on for years. For another, it illustrates that there are at least 2 basic sides to the story, with one receiving very little coverage.
So HBO is in town recording some interviews at the Opera House with people who weigh in on various aspects of the story and seem to be attempting a more complete survey of the facts of the matter.
The basic facts, of course, are that son Jack Thorpe would like his father’s body to be repatriated to his home state of Oklahoma. Another half of the family is adamantly opposed to this, saying that Jim Thorpe has been appropriately honored by this community for over 50 years.
They’ve even sent the eminent Frank Deford to conduct some of the interviews, himself basically the Jim Thorpe of sportswriters, with a weekly program on NPR and a long career as Sports Illustrated senior writer.
Our understanding is that the program will air on September 23 as part of a Bryant Gumbel show, but you might want to confirm that.
Though we’re sure the community would respond graciously no matter what the outcome of the controversy, we are also hopeful that this program might actually provide a more complete reporting of the story.