One of my favorite HBO programs is “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
And there is a special reason for Western New Yorkers to watch the next edition of the program at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Controversial former Buffalo Bills All-Pro guard Richie Incognito, who retired from the Bills in 2018 and is making a comeback this season with the Oakland Raiders, will be the subject of a segment of the program.
Here’s a summary of the segment: After serving a two-game suspension, 36-year-old Richie Incognito is eligible to return to the field on Sunday for the first time since his final appearance for the Bills in 2017. The four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman sits down with Bernie Goldberg to discuss his turbulent history and his decision to come out of retirement to join the Oakland Raiders.
Incognito also was featured in a minor way in this summer’s edition of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
His two-game suspension was for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
According to an ESPN report, Incognito pleaded guilty in April 2019 to disorderly conduct after being arrested for an incident at the Arizona home of his grandmother in August of 2018 following his father's death.
ESPN reported that plea followed another misdemeanor guilty plea in Arizona for an incident two days later in August of 2018 for making threats at the funeral home where his father’s body was held.
Incognito has had a couple of other well-publicized issues. In May of 2018, Incognito was held for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation after an altercation in a Florida fitness club.
He also was suspended for the 2013 season after being accused of bullying Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin.
The Bills signed him in 2015 and he had three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. He originally agreed to a pay cut to remain with the Bills but retired in April of 2018 and the Bills released him the next month.
Tuesday’s “Real Sports” program also includes a feature on “Sonny Bill Williams,” an iconic rugby player in New Zealand who helped the nation heal after the New Zealand mosque shooting in March in Christchurch. According to the HBO release, “the famed All Blacks’ first Muslim player, Sonny Bill Williams, revisits the scene of the horrific tragedy with ‘Real Sports’ David Scott and demonstrates how the national sport can help to heal and unify a diverse and divided country.”
And in a segment with the somewhat misleading title of “Girls Baseball,” Jon Frankel “reports on why girls are participating in virtually every sport in youth sports programs, high schools and colleges, with baseball being one of the few exceptions.”