(CBS Local)- The most iconic moments in sports often have back stories that we don’t find out until years later. It is telling those stories and giving new insight that drives CBS Sports’ Four Sides of the Story franchise. The latest season of the franchise kicks off on Tuesday, December 15 at 10:00 p.m. EST with Annika at Colonial, telling the story of golf legend Annika Sorenstam’s history making effort becoming just the second woman to play a PGA Tour event in 2003.
The next two episodes, Lisa Leslie Throws Down! and Picture of Triumph give insight into two other iconic moments in women’s sports. The first dunk in a WNBA game from Los Angeles Sparks legend Lisa Leslie and the World Cup winning penalty kick and ensuing celebration from Brandi Chastain in 1999.
Emilie Deutsch, the VP of Original Programming for CBS Sports, says that the three moments stuck out because each in its own way showed the excitement and inspiration that women’s sports can effect in the same way as their male counterparts.
“It’s three different sports which is something else that we try to do we try to mix it up. And in all three you see a sort of
defiance in the women. That women can compete. They can excite their fans. They can inspire just like the men,” said Deutsch in an interview with CBS Local’s Ryan Mayer. “And, in addition to that, all three of those moments continue to resonate. After so many years they have had a lasting impact on sports, on the sporting landscape, on young girls who watched those sports and went on to become athletes themselves.”
Sorenstam’s PGA Tour outing inspired the next generation of women’s golfers, eventually leading to Michelle Wie playing on the Tour in 2007. Leslie’s dunk gave way to her eventual teammate, and next woman to dunk in a WNBA game, Candace Parker accomplishing the feat in 2008. Chastain and the U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup win in 1999 has given way to over two decades of women’s soccer dominance in the states.
These moments, and much of their surrounding events, are well known at this point. That’s why Deutsch and the CBS Sports strive to find perspectives that haven’t been told before. In the case of Leslie, the episode features her trainer who explains all the work that went into that dunk.
“What I didn’t realize is that this didn’t just come out of nowhere, Lisa and her trainer worked all offseason. They had very specific goals, they worked specifically on dunking and that’s one thing I found fascinating is that they planned this,” said Deutsch. “She didn’t know when it was going to take place, but this was something they specifically worked on.”
In the Picture of Triumph episode, one of the perspectives comes from the photographer who captured Chastain’s celebration by being somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be for penalty kicks.
From Brandi Chastain to Annika Sorenstam to Lisa Leslie, this season of 'Four Sides of the Story' showcases some of the most iconic moments in women’s sports over the last 25 years. pic.twitter.com/yrO7brT4bq
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 8, 2020
“Talking to the photographer that shot the iconic photo of Brandi Chastain, what we learned was, first of all, he didn’t really know anything about soccer. He brought a buddy with him who was a coach. And he didn’t have a field pass, so they were kind of up in the stands taking photos at a high level. At the end of the game, it was 0-0 and he turns to his buddy and he’s like, ‘well now what happens?’ And his buddy said, ‘well now we have penalty kicks.’ So the photographer said, let’s go down behind the net,” said Deutsch. “They went down behind the net and they were setting up and there were no other photographers there at all, they were all along the side. They had a lot of gear and a security guy came over and said you can’t set up there, you’ve got to get out of there. They start to pack their gear up and they’re taking a little bit of time and finally the security guy says forget it stay there, it’s too late, stay there. Do not move stay right there. That’s where that iconic photo that ended up on the front of Sports Illustrated came about from that moment.”
Fans can hear more of those stories and perspectives beginning Tuesday night when the first episode of the series begins with Annika at Colonial on CBS Sports Network at 10:00 p.m. EST.