Monday, March 09, 2015

It's Not Crazy, It's Sports Episode Guide

ESPN Films announced a new primetime special, It's Not Crazy, It's Sports, directed by Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, Thin Blue Line, The Unknown Known) which will air Sunday, March 1 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Evolving ESPN's long-running brand campaign of the same name, the special broadcast consists of six short films that explore the inspiring, dramatic and unexpected things in sports that capture the experience of being a fan.

1. The Subterranean Stadium
Welcome to the Subterranean Stadium, the basement of John DiCarlo’s home in Charlotte, New York, where he and his buddies and relatives have gathered for years to play electric football. In this beautiful, deeply personal film, Errol Morris not only makes the little players come alive, he also lets the men who manipulate them tell their own stories: the hot dog vendor, the ex-con, the Kodak company man, and the postal carrier who defies his own health problems to keep the “buzz, buzz, buzz” alive. Yes, they keep score, but, as DiCarlo says, “All that really counts is family and friends.”
2. The Heist
North Carolina basketball fans are well aware of the Jordan no. 23 jersey that hangs from the rafters of the Dean Dome. But there was a time — February 1998, to be exact — when it disappeared. In The Heist, Errol Morris gets a former Duke student to re-create the theft and subsequent discovery of the sacred object. Having cased the joint, the student and three accomplices figured out a way to snatch the jumbo jersey and escalate the traditional war of pranks between the Tar Heel and Blue Devil faithfuls. Their luck ran out, though, a few weeks later, when the jersey was recovered just before they were to reveal it at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s a tale that illustrates the lengths to which college hoops fans will go to stick it to an archival.
3. The Streaker
If the name of Mark Roberts doesn’t ring a bell, his body might. He is the British man who has been interrupting events for more than 22 years, in more than 22 countries, by running naked through the proceedings: the Olympics, rugby and soccer matches, a dog show, and, most famously, Super Bowl XXXVIII, when he sneaked onto the field dressed as a ref and ended up getting tackled by players from the Patriots and Panthers. Roberts sits down with Errol Morris to, ahem, reveal his secrets and motivation — “I just want to give people something to smile about.” And he’s not done. He says he would like to be buried in a see-through coffin so that he can streak his own funeral.
4. Being Mr. Met
Mascots aren’t allowed to talk. But Errol Morris gets one of them to take us inside the head of one of baseball’s most iconic figures, Mr. Met. From 1994 to 1997, A.J. Mass entertained millions at Shea Stadium without saying a word, and he relives those years — the ecstasy, the agony, and the threat from the Secret Service not to approach President Clinton. He also brings a thoughtful perspective to the life of a mascot, who has to assume a different identity in order to please. “We all wear costumes to interact with people,” says Mass. “We wish to be somebody other than ourselves.”
5. Most Valuable Whatever
What would possess someone to pay $8,000 for Ty Cobb’s dentures? Or $5,300 for the toilet that the Toronto Maple Leafs sat on? Or $820 for the butt fumble jersey? Well, Errol Morris finds out in this film about collectors of unusual sports objects. In the case of the jersey worn by Mark Sanchez when he fumbled the ball after running into his own lineman, a Jets fan just wanted to make sure the memorabilia wouldn’t end up in the wrong hands — a New England sports bar.
6. Chrome
You can tell a lot about a horse by looking at the eye.” So says Steve Coburn, who talks to Errol Morris about California Chrome, the horse who nearly became the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years during the 2014 campaign. Coburn tells the story of why he chose to buy the mare who birthed Chrome, how he and co-owner Perry Martin came to call their syndicate Dumbass Partners, and why he lost it when the horse finished out of the money in the Belmont. By looking into Coburn’s eyes, you’ll see why we love horses.

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