Bull Durham

Bull Durham Podcast Episode copyright 2021
Bull Durham Movie Poster

Even though I was born in Atlanta and spent a lot of time there, I consider Durham to be equally my home. Despite all of the gentrification and increased cost of living, I love it here. I also love the Durham Bulls, and going to the games, even if I can only make it to one or two a season, is one of the highlights of my summer.

I don’t know how I never saw Bull Durham until now. It’s such a good movie! Also it was neat picking out all of the places that we recognized and seeing how much things have changed between the 80’s and now. Well, between the 80’s and early teens actually. When I moved here in 2010, a lot of changes were already underway, including the restoration of the old tobacco districts and warehouses. Durham was home to Lucky Strike (which gave us our water tower) and Chesterfield, and North Carolina had a big agriculture industry in tobacco for a long time. When we lived here out in the country when I was in middle school and high school in the mid to late 80’s to early 90’s, we were surrounded by tobacco fields, and every year you could smell tobacco curing. We also went to church in Raleigh, and I remember driving past Mitch’s Tavern on Hillsborough Street, which is the same Mitch’s used in the movie.

The one thing I wish is that I could have seen a game at the old stadium. I moved here right after the new stadium opened. It’s a very nice stadium! I just kind of wish I’d gotten to experience the one that the Bulls played from for 70 years.

This episode isn’t as engaged as I normally like them to be. You see, there are two types of good movies I tend to watch. There are the ones that invoke a verbal response (I talk to the screen a lot, argue, laugh, and basically keep a running dialogue) and ones that suck me in to the point that I only react to what’s going on– laughter, agreement, things like that. Those are harder to do for the podcast because I have to drag myself out of the movie and remember to talk about what’s going on.

Bull Durham is the latter type of movie. It’s really a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, watch it– even if you’re not into sports. I just got so sucked into the movie that I didn’t have any extra commentary, so this episode won’t be as involved as they usually are.

This came out in 1988 from Orion Pictures and was written and directed by Ron Shelton. It stars Kevin Costner as Crash, Susan Sarandon as Annie, and Tim Robbins as Ebby (or Nuke).