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710 Classic Picks: Jessamyn McIntyre on Shaq breaking baskets and ‘Remember the Titans’

Shaquille O'Neal pulled down multiple backboards as a rookie. (Getty - Jonathan Daniel /Allsport)

With the sports world at a standstill, we’re checking in with the cast of characters from 710 ESPN Seattle and 710Sports.com to find out what they’ve been watching or reading to get their sports fix, or what sports memories they have that other fans in the Seattle area (and beyond) might connect with.

Schedule: Classic Mariners games air at 7 every night on 710

Here’s what Jessamyn McIntyre, producer of 710 ESPN Seatlle’s Danny and Gallant and sideline reporter for WSU football, has picked out.

1. Moment: Shaq pulls down the entire basket

I chose Shaq because I’ve been obsessed with him since I was little. I couldn’t believe someone so big existed, let alone one who could move the way he did. He was so dominant and, as I fancied myself a little hooper, there was nobody else I emulated more (other than Muggsy Bogues because I was the same height as him when I was 9 so of course I could play in the NBA too).

As I grew up, Shaq became one of the more popular media subjects as he was pretty quick with a quote and hardly held back. But when he pulled down the ENTIRE hoop – not just the rim, not just smashing the backboard – I fell in love. Shaq has always been someone who makes me smile, especially now with his unfiltered work on TNT.

This is a moment that doesn’t come up all that often but for me I’ll always hold true.

2. Extended highlights: Gardner Minshew’s rookie NFL season

Gardner Minshew is widely known for his Uncle Rico resemblance, cutoff jorts and Mississippi twang. But to me, he more represents the American football dream. Gardner always wanted to ball but has a long-term goal for coaching.

It was almost as though he was playing with house money when he came to Washington State, learning under the great coaching mind of Mike Leach and getting another shot at ball after an inconsistent career at Eastern Carolina. He went on to lead the Cougs to their winningest season in school history, including an Alamo Bowl victory. I chose this highlight reel of his rookie year with the Jacksonville Jaguars because it represents Gardner’s determination behind the personality and mustache with which America has fallen in love.

Gardner is 100% himself all the time and puts in a tremendous amount of work. Just as he won over a locker room of teammates reeling from tragedy at WSU, he ingratiated himself to starting quarterback Nick Foles and the offense in Jacksonville, after the Jags selected him in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.

These represent hard work, determination and a man who believes in himself.

3. Highlights: Sharks at Sabres, Feb. 13, 2009 (a day after a plane crash that killed 50 people)

I was at this game, which came right before I moved to Seattle. I was dating a man from Buffalo and before we jumped in a car and uprooted our lives to the Pacific Northwest, we visited his hometown. While we were in route from Connecticut to Buffalo, tragedy struck.

A single plane crash killed 49 people on board and one person on the ground not far from where my boyfriend’s family lived. We had planned to go to the game and thankfully hadn’t known anyone killed in the crash. However, the community was devastated. Buffalo is a tight-knit community and I tend to gravitate toward sports teams in those areas.

The Sharks were hot and the Sabres were still in contention. We got to the game and it was a packed house. There were moments of silence and once the game got underway, the atmosphere was electric. Buffalo came out to an early lead, but the Sharks clawed back to tie it up 5-5 at the end of regulation. No scores in overtime took us to a shootout.

I won’t give away the ending but do recommend watching it. I’ll never forget that game.

4. Movie: “Remember the Titans”

I love this movie for so many reasons, one of which is NOT because I was always compared to the little girl anytime someone found out my father was a football coach.

This movie explores topics from before my time that, thankfully as our world grows together, I haven’t experienced at the same level, the biggest being racial integration. It’s hard for me to even imagine what it was like, as I wasn’t there. I appreciate a sports movie delving into it.

Coach Boone brought a team together amidst social tension and community unrest. And in doing to, he brought others together as well. This is what sports represents to me – a coming together of people. That’s at my core as a people person and I love it when we can come together in a positive way. I believe sports have the ability to bring out the best in us all.

5. Documentary: “Josiah’s Time,” by Tom Rinaldi, from ESPN’s “E:60”

Did you ever cry the snot bubble type of sobbing without any end in sight? Josiah Viera’s story hit me that way. Tom Rinaldi was once described to me as a genetically engineered human invented to make us weep. “Josiah’s Time” is a perfect combination of a storyteller, a boy and a family.

Josiah always wanted to play baseball, yet couldn’t truly play as he was born with the rare genetic disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which causes accelerated aging in children. Tom beautifully weaves Josiah’s story with America’s pastime and his favorite sport: baseball. You won’t regret giving this the time.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jessamyn McIntyre on Twitter.

More 710 classic sports picks

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Movie time and Duke fandom with Dave Wyman
Brandon Gustafson on Wilson vs. Mahomes
• Paul Gallant on Clowney’s insane HS highlights
• Groz on ‘Slap Shot’ and the 1986 Masters
• Tom Wassell’s way-back machine
• Jim Moore will set you straight on WWE wrestling
• Danny O’Neil on Ken Griffey Jr. and Bobby Knight
• Brent Stecker on the 1996 Sonics and “Little Big League”