Friday, December 05, 2008

Playmakers: ESPN takes on the NFL (or as it's known, "the league")

Ah, to be an original series on ESPN. It pretty much dooms you to a short life, especially as there are only two of them, ever, and subjects you to pressure from sports organizations, such as the NFL who essentially forced ESPN to stop Playmakers. Of course, that just tells you how “real” it is – something venerated cornerback Deion Sanders confirmed. Back in college I used to be part of a club which talked about sports. Despite the fact that none of us actually watched Playmakers, we still devoted fifteen minutes to talking about it and making fun of it every meeting.
Those fifteen minutes were pretty much right, though not in a bad way. Playmakers is pretty much the Boston Public of football shows; anything that could go wrong with a football team ever, goes wrong with one football team in one season. We’ve got nearly every controversy in the books – a closeted gay wide receiver, aging running back tries steroids, a young stud back hangs out with the wrong crowd and gets in trouble with the law, a defensive player faces psychological problems after crippling an opposing player, and the list goes on.
The main characters feature an aging running back trying to fight for playing time and a contract, a young hotshot running back, struggling with drugs and crime issues, a quarterback who is probably the most useless main character, a middle linebacker who is the soul of the defense, and a coach who has to deal with concerns about his offensive coordinator jumping at his heels for his job while fighting cancer. Side characters include the aforementioned gay wide receiver along with the conniving, old-fashioned, and pretty much evil owner, who seems curiously modeled after Jerry Jones.
Some plotlines, like a spousal abuse one, and some scenes, such as one in which the owner tells his star running back “Didn’t hear it from me, but the piss man’s coming” (by the way, if anyone could get a hold of that clip, I would be indebted forever) get played over and over again, to the point of being ridiculous. But then again, to some extent, if it wasn’t so ridiculous, it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable to watch. If it’s possible to enjoy something both in an ironic sense, and in a non-ironic sense, and I think it is, this is one such thing – it’s not great by any means, but it’s definitely enjoyable viewing for a sports fan.


Rich said...

How many Emmys did Playmakers win in its one year of existence? All of them or just most of them?

Rich said...

Also, you didn't hear it from me, but the piss man's coming. And Cal was with you.

AndrewEberle said...

Are you watching Playmakers while making food and having people over again?