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If you have a sports dream, then they have the sports stunts, as three people will compete in various challenges to try to win a sports fantasy for a loved one.

Recaps by Don Harpwood, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host:
George Gray
Creator: Transworld International (based on a British series)
Packager: Transworld International, Mass Media, EOE
Airs: Mondays at 10pm ET on ESPN2



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Episode 3 - May 2
 

It's an all-father/son installment this time, as 3 fathers will compete on behalf of their sons. And for the son of the winner is a sports fantasy come true. This time, that dream is to spend a day with the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park. Not just any day, though; Opening Day! And it comes with the VIP treatment! Oh, and that rock-climbing wall that host George Gray is up on in the opening? I'd expect to see that later on in the show.

So, who are the selfless fathers and the sons that they'll be going through PAIN and SHAME for?

Dan Lowe
From: Modesto, CA
Competing for: Keaton Lowe

Dwight Moore
From: San Francisco, CA
Competing for: Nathan Moore

Marty Briesach
From: San Francisco, CA
Competing for: Nick Briesach

Day 1 (PAIN): Pumpin' Tons of Iron

The 3 fathers and their sons meet George in a building, where he explains the rules (win 1 Sacrifice to get to the Final; win 2 to prevent someone else from going to the Final; win all 3 to get to pick your opponent for the Final). He then goes on to explain the first Sacrifice. Here, the players will simply have to lift 100,000 lbs., or as much as they possibly can, in 1 hour. Whoever lifts the most after that 1 hour wins. After George introduces the spotters/judges (Chris, Chris, and Bob), we see that there are 5 machines available for use in the gym, each one targeting a different part of the body: the Bicep Curl, the Shoulder Press, the Leg Press, the Back Machine, and the Chest Press. Each repetition adds to the player's cumulative weight lifted (for example, lifting 120 lbs. 5 times would be worth 600 lbs.). Oh, and if a player is resting or relaxing on a machine at any point, and if another player is standing in a marked blue box next to the machine, the first player must get off and let the other use it.

The guys each get on a machine, the spotters are in position, the clock starts, and the exercising begins. The guys don't have much of a problem with it at first, but as the Sacrifice progresses, the exhaustion starts setting in for each of them. Marty drinks some water during a brief moment of rest before continuing. The sons and spotters are trying to coach the guys through it, but they all seem quite tired. And that's just the first 10 minutes! At that point, George announces the current totals after 10 minutes...

Dan: 16,840 lbs.
Dwight: 26,920 lbs.
Marty: 33,400 lbs.

Upon hearing the scores, Dan decides to up the weight that he's lifting in the hopes of catching up to the others. Marty keeps going, but decides to go for the Leg Press once Nick signals to him that it's open by saying M.O.M. (Man Off Machine). The guys continue to lift the weight, as one of the spotters, "Muscle" Bob Cicherillo, mentions that even professional bodybuilders wouldn't try to lift so much weight in so little time. Really? I would've thought this would have been normal for some of the world's stronger guys, but eh, what do I know about bodybuilding? Anyway, the guys manage to reach the halfway point, and the scores are as follows...

Dan: 60,760 lbs.
Dwight: 57,640 lbs.
Marty: 72,300 lbs.

Despite all the exhaustion, Dan is slowly catching up, and has moved ahead of Dwight, but there's still another 30 minutes to go, as the fathers continue pumping iron and fighting the pain. Suddenly, Dan decides to throw up into a nearby bucket, and Keaton is clearly grossed out by this. But Dan does continue on after this, and with 20 minutes left, we get another update...

Dan: 65,860 lbs.
Dwight: 90,030 lbs.
Marty: 92,300 lbs.

Dwight made up some major ground, and is closing in on Marty, who continues to hold the lead. But Marty, extremely tired by now, goes to barf in a pail in a corner of the room, giving Dwight an opportunity to possibly move ahead and take the lead. Dwight saw this chance, and pushed himself some more. But Marty returns to a machine and keeps going as Nick cheers him on. With 15 seconds left, all 3 competitors somehow manage to keep going after so much weight training, and push themselves as much as they possibly can until the whistle blows, signaling the end of the Sacrifice.

These 3 guys had just been through a LOT of weight training, so they have to be so VERY tired by now. The totals are counted, and the fathers and sons gather as George is ready to announce the results. He says that in 3rd place, with 79,400 lbs., is Dan. Which means it's down to Dwight and Marty. Did Dwight do enough to pass Marty and hold on? No, as Marty wins the first Sacrifice with 101,000 lbs.! Though Dwight's total is not given, he did put forth a lot of effort, but with a win, Marty brings his son Nick closer to a day with the San Francisco Giants!

Day 2 (SHAME): Slipping & Sliding & Falling with Style

(Yep, they decided to break the normal "2 PAIN Sacrifices followed by the SHAME Sacrifice" pattern with this one.)

The competitors and their sons arrive at a hockey arena and meet George on the ice inside. The host explains that for their next Sacrifice, they would have to do some skating. Not hockey skating, though. Figure skating. The fathers learn that they'll have to do what's called a "short program" during the 1st Intermission of a hockey game. That means a 2-minute figure skating routine in front of about 4,000 hockey fans. And no, it's not an NHL game; the owners and players there are still trying to agree on something. It's a minor-league hockey game. Anyway, the guys will have to choreograph the routines themselves, but they will receive some training from 2 former Olympic figure skaters: Todd Sands and Jenni Meno. They start by showing the guys how to skate, and we get to see them fall on their butts a few times during this. Dan starts to get the hang of it, and he even tries showing off a bit. Dwight tries some showing off of his own, but all he gets from that is a trip down to the ice.

After some training, the competitors and their sons enter the dressing room to see what they have to wear. Each of them gets a helmet, a pair of skates... and a dress. Yes. A dress. This is supposed to be a SHAME Sacrifice, you know. They start changing into the attire as the hockey game starts. While the crowd of about 4,000 have settled into their seats, the fathers are busy preparing for a very embarrassing few minutes on the ice. Their sons do give them some encouragement during this time, though. The first period of the hockey game ends (1-1 tie according to the scoreboard), the hockey players leave the ice to go to their dressing rooms, and it's time for the Sacrifice to begin.

Dwight is up first. He smiles and waves to the crowd as he tries to keep his balance, and he starts his short program. The music starts up, and he just skates around at first, making sure not to fall. After a bit, he does fall, though, so there goes that idea. He gets back on his skates, and after some more skating, Dwight attempts a few light hops, which he manages to do without a problem, and he ends the routine by skating to center ice and executing a slow single spin. Soon followed by another slip and a fall. Ouch. The crowd applauds as Dwight gets up and gets off the ice.

Dan steps onto the ice next, and he starts his routine by skating around, and manages a single spin as he is moving along. He picks up some speed, almost tripping but not letting it affect his momentum, and he manages a glide on one skate with his arms out. Dan almost falls, but he maintains his balance, and he tries to spin a few revolutions, but after 1 or 2, he trips up. He is able to stay up, though, and he continues his routine. Then, after gliding for a bit in a position where he was crouched down and one knee was hovering just above the ice (I don't know if that has a technical term or something), as he tries to stand back up, Dan finally slips and falls hard. He gets up and tries again, and this time, he stays low and lands on his knees to finish the routine. He gets quite an ovation after that.

And last but not least, Marty, who already won a Sacrifice, skates onto the ice to begin his routine. But he mentions that once he saw all the fans watching, he forgets his strategy. That can't be a good thing. He skates around, blowing a kiss to the crowd, and he tries the gliding on one skate thing, but he visibly struggles to keep his balance as he does this. We don't get to see as much of Marty's routine, but we see near the end that he skates towards a net (the hockey nets remained in position for this), but before he can try some sort of trick, he slips and falls flat on his face. And falls short of scoring a goal as a human puck. That was it for him, as he gets up and returns to the entrance.

Now, the 3 guys, after they've made fools of themselves, return to the ice along with their sons, and George joins them as well. George, with a mic in hand, tells those in the audience that have orange pucks that they'll have to write down the colour corresponding to the skater that they thought did the best (Red = Dan; Yellow = Dwight; Green = Marty) on the orange puck and throw it onto the ice. They all do so, and the pucks go flying. Obviously, these pucks are the votes that will determine the winner of this Sacrifice. The group then gets off the ice, and the orange pucks are gathered and counted up. Moments later, George tells the players that there were 100 pucks thrown on the ice. Marty got 7, Dwight got 13, and Dan got 80! It was no contest, as Dan wins this one, earning him a one-way ticket to the Final, and Keaton is happy to be closer to that day with the San Francisco Giants!

But now, Nathan has to be worried, as there is one Sacrifice left, and Dwight has to win it to keep himself and his son in the running. Can he do it?

Day 3 (PAIN): Outfielders Never Had It THIS Hard

I guess it's only fitting that they have a baseball-themed Sacrifice considering the prize, as they walk onto a minor-league baseball field to meet George. He goes on to explain that the task this time is to catch a few fly balls. They'll be standing in a marked hexagonal area in the outfield, and they have to catch fly balls and throw them towards home plate, so they land inside a cage at the plate. They'll have 3 minutes each, and whoever catches and throws into the cage the most balls wins. Oh, and there will be a total of 1,000 balls coming at them. 1,000 balls in 3 minutes. Yeah. The players and their sons go over strategies in a dressing room, and the guys put on their protective gear (helmet, shoulder pads, cup, etc.). Because let's face it; they'll have 1,000 baseballs raining on them.

Dan is up first, and the balls start flying at him. He gets hit a few times, including one on the head (thank goodness for the helmet), but he does manage to catch some balls and throw them at the cage. A couple of them missed, though; one fell short, and another went wide to the right. Dan continues getting pelted by the balls, and he even gets hit in the place "where the cup was", as Keaton called it. But he gets through it, getting some balls into the cage, and he does get one in before time expires. He then slips on a ball and falls. Dan managed a total count of 13 balls, which is not bad, but it could have been better.

Marty is next, and after Nick gives him some pointers, he gets into the hexagon. The balls go flying, and he gets a good start, scoring a few early, but then, BAM! A ball nails him on the helmet, and he apparently forgets about his strategy. At least, that's what Marty says afterwards. He continued to catch and throw, but without as much accuracy as he started with, and he tries to figure out what's suddenly going wrong. He remembers the strategy (once again, that's what he says afterwards) with under 30 seconds to go, and Marty manages to make a late surge, scoring quite a few, including one thrown just before time ran out, and bringing his score to 17. That's enough to take the lead, but will it hold up?

Dwight needs to win to avoid elimination, and he steps up to the field to endure the barrage of baseballs. He starts a little slower, though, but he maintains a good pace in the midst of all the balls. He tries to shut out the pain and focus on winning, as he continues to endure the onslaught of balls raining on him while catching what he can and throwing them. However, Dwight does slip a few times while throwing, slowing him down a bit, and he misses a couple of throws, one going to the right, and one to the left as time ran out. Dwight could only manage 14, which means that Marty wins his second Sacrifice. That also means that Dwight will be going home, and Nathan is obviously upset and disappointed that his dream of spending a day with the San Francisco Giants is out of reach. It's a real shame that it had to happen before the Final, but that's life for ya.

Night 4 (INSANE): A Shocking Climb

The remaining competitors drive up to what appears to be a swampy area and meet George, who explains that for the Final, Dan and Marty will have to do some rock climbing. He then points to the 60-foot tall rock-climbing wall, which lights up as they face it. He then goes on to mention that this isn't an ordinary wall... It's electrified. When a light just above a handhold is lit up, then up to 700 volts of electricity will be coursing through it, shocking whoever touches it. And the higher up the wall they go, the more intense the shocks will be, making it progressively harder as they move along (as if the fatigue isn't enough). Whoever makes it to the top in the shortest amount of time, or whoever makes it to a higher point on the wall, wins the Final, and his son will get the sports fantasy in San Francisco.

[BTW, I remember that when Fear Factor did a stunt earlier this year involving electricity, they had to include an extra warning reminding viewers at home not to try such a stunt. I wonder why ESPN didn't include such a warning for this one, or any warning, for that matter. My guess is that they think their viewers would know better than to play with electricity or something like that. Still, though, I feel I should reiterate the point (just so I don't get into any trouble myself) that you should NOT try something like this anywhere. Not at home, not at work or school, not even at an amusement park that just happens to have a rock-climbing wall and some random electric wires. OK?]

Anyway, because Marty won 2 Sacrifices, he gets to decide whether to go first or second. After consulting with his son, he elects to go second, which means that Dan gets to fry his hands on the wall first. Dan gets into the safety harness as Keaton encourages him that he can do this. Once he gets the signal to go, Dan starts climbing, immediately getting a shock in the first few seconds. He manages to get through it, though, and continues ascending up the wall. He deals with the various shocks on the way, keeping a good pace up the wall, and although it does get tougher as he gets higher up, Dan doesn't let up. As he hears his son cheering him on constantly, he hangs on, bearing through the electricity and continuing his climb. He ends up slowing down during the climb, though, but he powers through it until he reaches the top, where he blows a horn to stop the clock. Marty is worried because Dan didn't appear to make any mistakes during the climb. And he should be, because once Dan is back on the ground, his hands shaking from the electricity, we find out that 1:23 is Dan's official time, and that will be tough to beat.

As Marty gets into the harness, he and Nick go over his strategy, which is just "Go, go, go, go..." Yeah, that sounds simple enough. But will it be enough to beat 1:23? We'll see, as Marty begins his ascent up the wall, and although he doesn't get immediately shocked, he does feel it quickly enough. Like Dan, though, Marty bears through the electricity and keeps climbing. And like Keaton did when Dan was climbing, Nick was cheering Marty on throughout. The higher up the wall and the more intense the shocks became, Marty started slowing down himself, but he didn't give up, and he just kept going. His screaming is showing that he's enduring the pain from the climb and the electric handholds, though he does get a brief break from the shocking as all the lights around him were off for a couple seconds at the 1-minute mark. But would this help? He keeps going, and continues to ascend, still enduring the shocks, and after a bit, he manages to reach the top and blow the horn. And then he lets out a big scream, though I'm not exactly sure if it's because of the pain or because he's happy to have gotten this task done and over with.

Once Marty is back on the ground, his hands also shaking, he and Nick await his time for that climb. Is it better than 1:23? Marty's official time is... 1:32. With that, Dan has won the Final, and that will send Keaton to San Francisco to hang with the Giants on Opening Day! Dan and Keaton celebrate the win, and all Marty could do was shake Dan's hand and congratulate him.

1 Week Later

Dan and Keaton arrive at SBC Park on Opening Day, and they walk into the stadium to see the San Francisco Giants practicing for their first game of the season. They head down to the field to watch the practice for a bit, and they get to meet the various players, such as Ray Durham, Pedro Feliz, Jerome Williams, Marquis Grissom, and Omar Vizquel, and Keaton gets autographs from each of them. Later, when it's time for the game to start, Dan and Keaton get to watch the player introductions while still on the field, and then they head into the stands to sit back and watch the game. All in all, a special day, and it was all thanks to a few days of PAIN and SHAME.

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