This new HBO documentary from Peter Berg is one of the most chilling and unsettling films you ever will watch about sports.
State of Play (Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET) documents parents going overboard in trying to turn their children into superstar athletes. Trust me, what you see in the trailer is a just a fraction of the abuse these kids take from their parents.
These parents are so over-the-top, you almost think they must be actors. It doesn’t seem possible that an actual parent would act that way in front of cameras. Do they not know how bad they look?
There is a segment where a parent berates a young football player with his former wife driving the car. It was so difficult to watch that I eventually had to fast-forward through the passage.
Following the film, Berg does a … Continue Reading
Congratulations to Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on its 200th show tonight. That’s no small feat in an age where you’re fortunate to get 10 shows.
Real Sports launched in 1995 and shows no sign of letting up. It has consistently delivered among the best in sports journalism on a variety of subjects, conventional and more often not. That holds true for the 200th show.
Here is preview of Bernard Goldberg’s report on the upcoming Olympics in Sochi. “A festival of corruption,” according to a Russian critic.
Here’s the rundown for Tuesday’s show:
Now in its 19th season, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series and the only sports program recognized with a prestigious 2012 George Foster Peabody Award, presents more enterprising features and reporting when the show’s landmark 200th edition, … Continue Reading
A couple of sports icons get examined tonight.
Bryant Gumbel has an interview with Reggie Jackson on the latest edition of Real Sports (HBO, 10 p.m. ET)
A Football Life: Pat Summerall (NFL Network, 9 p.m. ET)
As a player and broadcaster, Pat Summerall’s football life spanned more than 50 years. His passion for sports encompassed 82 years. His voice is eternal.
NFL Network’s Emmy-nominated series A Football Life continues Tuesday, October 22 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of Pat Summerall – the voice of the NFL. The one-hour special chronicles Summerall’s transformation from an athlete to broadcaster and details the personal battles and professional challenges he endured along the way.
After a successful career in the NFL as a kicker and with a little luck and a lot of talent, Summerall would fall into … Continue Reading
Jim Harbaugh definitely will be getting a call from HBO and NFL Films during the off-season.
From Taylor Price of 49ers.com:
Jim Harbaugh likes to keep things close to the vest.
But that doesn’t mean the 49ers coach is against his team being featured on NFL Films’ “Hard Knocks” reality show.
“If that’s something we were in position to do, then we’d certainly do it,” the 49ers coach said on Wednesday.
He also understands that the popularity of the show will keep it around for a long time.
“There’s going to be teams that are going to be on ‘Hard Knocks’ and that seems like a popular thing and something people want to see,” Harbaugh said. “So, I don’t see it going away. You could stamp your feet and say I don’t want to do it, but I
… Continue Reading
As I wrote earlier this week, HBO is airing a new documentary, Glickman, on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. It is a terrific film about one of the legendary voices in sports history. And there’s much more to the story that involves encounters with Antisemitism.
An old friend, Mike Leiderman, shared a story of a wonderful experience he had with Marty Glickman. Mike is a long-time Chicago journalist, sportscaster and producer. He runs his own media firm, Leiderman Productions.
Leiderman, though, grew up in New York. At the age of 12, he attended a memorable Knicks game.
The quick story: My uncle Joe had a contact somehow and I got to sit next to Marty when he did a Knicks-Minneapolis Lakers game from the old 69th Regiment Armory in NY in the mid ’50s. I must have … Continue Reading
My latest National Sports Journalism Center column is on Glickman, the upcoming HBO documentary on Marty Glickman. I had a chance to talk to the film’s producer, James Freedman, who worked for Glickman when he was 17.
For those of you who never heard of his story and his obstacles with Anti-Semitism, read on. And I highly recommend you watch this film.
When I was coming up as a sports journalist in Chicago during the 80s, I only had a vague notion of Marty Glickman. I always had heard he was an iconic, trend-setting pioneer in sports broadcasting.
Yet in the days before cable and satellite radio, I had no real idea of why New Yorkers held him in the same reverence as they do in Los Angeles for Vin Scully, or why he was considered one of … Continue Reading
This was completely unsolicitated from my son, Matt.
One of our traditions in August is watching Hard Knocks on HBO. Now that Matt is back from a summer at camp, I asked if he had caught up with last week’s first episode and was looking forward to tonight’s show.
“Yeah, I watched it,” he said. “I’m not really into it. Didn’t we just see them? Why couldn’t they get someone like the 49ers?”
Matt actually saw them in 2009. Since the lockout knocked out Hard Knocks in 2011, it marks the second time Cincinnati has been featured in the last four runs for the series.
I wonder if more viewers feel like Matt.
Do we need to spend another summer up close and personal with Marvin Lewis? Does Cincinnati have any … Continue Reading
A show of hands for those who want to see the Cincinnati Bengals appear on Hard Knocks for the second time in five years.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’m fairly sure the feeling is mutual at NFL Films and HBO.
Yes, the Bengals have a good, solid young team. But they don’t have Chad Johnson for comic relief/nonsense anymore, or any big stars for that matter, and coach Marvin Lewis hardly is Rex Ryan.
So why the Bengals for an encore of their 2009 appearance? The answer seems rather obvious: NFL Films and HBO might have had another choice, or at the very least, limited options.
Despite the press release below, I can’t believe Cincinnati was the first pick or even the 30th to do the series. They were just featured fairly recently.
The wish list had to center … Continue Reading
It will be the second time in five years for the Bengals.
From John Reedy of the Cincinnati.com:
While the series has been popular with football fans because of the inside access it gives them, it is the bane of existence for head coaches. Only one other team had expressed serious interest in appearing.
The Bengals were the team in 2009 and won the AFC North with a 10-6 record. When asked over the past couple years about possibly doing the series again, coach Marvin Lewis has been leery of making a return, but with a young team and a more mature locker room, this might be a good time to do it again.
However, the reasons why Lewis did the series four years ago could ring true this time — he has a young but mature roster and
… Continue Reading
Tonight at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.