Tonight's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" features an emotional interview with Nick Schuyler, the only survivor of a boating accident which claimed the lives of ex-NCSU football player Corey Smith (left) and two other men back in February.
Even if you don't care about football or sports, this is something you should try to watch (if you have HBO). Schuyler gives correspondent Bernard Goldberg a detailed account of what happened the day Schuyler, Smith, Marquis Cooper, and Will Bleakley left the Tampa coast for a day-long fishing trip that ended with tragedy.
The four men set out on a 21-foot boat owned by Cooper, and after a bad call on how to best unstick a stuck anchor, the men found themselves capsized in the ocean, 70 miles from shore with no cell phone service and a bad storm brewing.
Schuyler struggles to maintain his composure throughout the interview, but breaks down a couple of times. And, frankly, it's hard not to break down right along with him. Schuyler describes the conversations they all had as they floated near the capsized boat, mostly about the possibility of leaving behind their children and parents and loved ones. Schuyler talks about what it was like as each of the three men slowly slipped away, both mentally and physically. And finally, he talks about his recovery and the survivor's guilt he struggles with to this day.
"Real Time with Bryant Gumbel" airs on HBO tonight at 10pm and again at 2:25am. Other air dates are: Aug. 20 (2pm, 5:45am), Aug. 22 (11am), Aug. 24 (9:30am, 3pm), Aug. 26 (5:30pm, midnight), Aug. 30 (9am) and Sept. 2 (7:30pm).
Corey Smith photograph from the Detroit Lions website.