I grew up with sports and have been a traditionalist about sports since I was a kid. That was probably instilled at an early age by my Dad. He loved all sports and taught me to do the same. Two of my special sports memories were being taken out of school early on an April afternoon in 1967 and to be sitting in Fenway Park a few hours later at the Boston Red Sox Opening Day. The other is going to my first Patriots game at Fenway Park, a 13-13 tie with the San Diego Chargers, but what happened after the game made it special. Dad took me onto the field, and we walked out to the Green Monster. We were standing in left field at Fenway Park where my Dad’s hero, Ted Williams, ruled. I still well up thinking about that day and what it meant for my Dad and me. This was my Dad’s Field of Dreams and even at a young age, I could feel the importance of the moment to my Dad.
That was a long preface, but essential to why this week’s Spotlight has impacted me. Bull Durham, Tin Cup, and Field of Dreams are the early works that made Kevin Costner very special in my life and why he is this week’s Sunday Spotlight.
Kevin Costner was never acting to me. He was himself, the average guy living out his fantasies in sports and life. He was living out a story we could connect with and sometimes put ourselves in his place. It was an escape from reality and a trigger for great memories we should explore more often. Growing up, I was a fan of Jimmy Stewart, and I see these two men in a similar light. They were living life in front of a camera.
Costner loves this country, nature, and is a traditionalist. I see him as an anachronist enjoying life today but wishing he could explore the life of yesteryear. I watch the series he has done on Yellowstone, the landmark, not the series, and you can see the awe and admiration in his eyes as he looks out on the expanse of beauty. When I think of Kevin Costner, I see him in nature or the field of sports. Costner is a man who should not be trapped on a busy city street.
In his recent work, Costner plays John Dutton in the fantastic series, “Yellowstone” written by the genius Taylor Sheridan. In this role, Costner is the head of a family that owns the largest ranch in the country. He can enjoy the magnitude and beauty of the Montana land, protect his family from nature, and head off the corporations that want to transform the region. Though John Dutton is not a fan of government, he runs for Governor and wins the seat in the corner office of the statehouse. In this position, he has the power to thwart big-money efforts from California and New York that want to change Montana into their personal playground. You can see this playing out in real life and feel the anguish of John Dutton. This is the magic that is Kevin Costner. When he is on the screen, the screen comes to life.
Costner is working on his next project, Horizon, which will release in 2023. Costner will direct and star in this four movie saga set in, no surprise, the American west. The Horizon series will span a fifteen-year time frame of a western family in the American frontier. Costner claims the series will focus on the strong women of the time who often did not ask that this be where they were, but they did what was necessary to survive.
I am glad to see Kevin Costner getting accolades and recognition for his work while he is still with us. Costner is a natural treasure, and I hope he continues to master his craft for all of us to enjoy and live. It has been a pleasure to grow up through the eyes and works of this gifted man.