ESPN Films' 30 for 30 is an unprecedented documentary series featuring today's finest storytellers from inside and outside of the sports world. What started as a celebration of ESPN's 30th ... See full summary »
Michael Eric Dyson
Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.
In 2004, ESPN cancelled the show following pressure applied by their television partner the National Football League. The show focused on the trials and tribulations of a professional football team. See more »
A true surprise from ESPN. Playmakers may not have portrayed the image ESPN's partner the National Football League (NFL) wants to market but, for the first time since North Dallas Forty, we have a glimpse of players life from something other than the carefully crafted image the League markets. The players, we as fans religiously follow, are more than just Gladiators, they are people. They are people who have real lives off the field and real issues to deal with. They aren't just lures to get us to watch commercials, they are human beings. Just like the rest of us, some are better than others. This show was and is definitely worth watching. That wasn't why it was cancelled. It was cancelled because the NFL found the series to be more realistic than it cares to admit. In an age of trash and copy cat redundancies, Playmakers offered it's viewers an original, smartly written, quality drama based on the trials and tribulations of an imaginary football team. In only eleven episodes before being cancelled the show won an award for the American Film Institute Top 10 TV Programs of the Year. In an age where the critics and the populous rarely agree on what is good TV. Here we had a show that had good ratings and was critically acclaimed yet, it was cancelled. Was this a case of art imitating life too closely for the comfort of the NFL big wigs? If not, you explain why this show is no longer on the air. Here's a theory, the NFL needs to stop practicing censorship and concentrate on producing a quality product where the term, 'Any given Sunday' continues to apply. And allow its broadcast partners to be broadcasters and create quality programming.
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