REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL
LOOKS BACK AT THE ICONIC 1985 CHICAGO BEARS;
INTERVIEWS NFL ANALYST CRIS COLLINSWORTH;
CATCHES UP WITH FORMER NBA STAR STEPHON MARBURY IN BEIJING; AND
RECONNECTS WITH THREE-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION URBAN MEYER
WHEN IT RETURNS JAN. 20, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series, returns with an all-new season of enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 214th edition debuts on TUESDAY, JAN. 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
For the up-to-the-minute updates about REAL SPORTS, follow on Twitter at @RealSportsHBO or join the conversation using #RealSports.
*Monsters of the Midway. The 1985 Chicago Bears are among the most iconic championship teams in modern pro sports history. Sparked by dynamic head coach Mike Ditka, they were a devastating powerhouse on defense and efficient machine on offense, and featured an array of memorable characters such as Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, William Perry, Dave Duerson, Richard Dent and Mike Singletary. Thirty years later, the players are still revered, but many of them are feeling less than immortal. Host Bryant Gumbel, who was raised in Chicago, returns home to explore the triumph and tragedy that have touched this band of close-knit brothers. Interviews include Mike Ditka, Jim McMahon, Richard Dent, Steve McMichael and Tregg Duerson.
Producer: Jordan Kronick.
*Cris Collinsworth. Arguably the most accomplished and recognized personality in sports broadcasting today, Cris Collinsworth, 55, has the unique ability to explain the complexities of football to millions of viewers. An All-American at the University of Florida, he played eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, earning three Pro Bowl nods and appearing in two Super Bowls against the San Francisco 49ers (XVI and XXIII). Following his second Super Bowl appearance, Collinsworth began his TV work on HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” Since 2009, he’s been the expert analyst for the league’s most-watched game of the week on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
REAL SPORTS correspondent Mary Carillo goes one-on-one with the 15-time Emmy® winner two weeks before he calls Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona and gains a behind-the-scenes look at his tireless preparation, which includes ten-hour days full of film sessions. She learns that Collinsworth, a husband and father of four, has passed along the sports tradition to his children. Austin is captain of the Notre Dame football team and Jac hosts a weekly football television show at Notre Dame, while Ashley is a junior captain of the Harvard track team and Katie is making her way as an executive at the Golf Channel.
Producer: Nick Dolin.
*Reinventing His Game. In 2009, after prolonged turmoil with the New York Knicks, Stephon Marbury turned down a one-year contract offer from the Boston Celtics and walked away from the NBA. Already dealing with deep depression over the loss of his father in 2007 and the failure of his Starbury brand of affordable basketball sneakers, the 13-year veteran struggled to cope away from the hardwood.
But in 2010, Marbury returned to the game he loved with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons and had an impressive season, averaging 23 points and nine assists. Now, after five seasons in the CBA, Marbury, 37, is one of the league’s biggest stars. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Beijing Ducks, leading them to the playoffs each year, and capturing championships in 2012 and 2014, something the Coney Island native never experienced in the NBA. More recently, his Starbury brand has been reenergized by his success in China. REAL SPORTS correspondent Carl Quintanilla heads to Beijing, where Marbury tells him he has no plans to come back to the U.S.
Producer: Naimah Jabali-Nash.
*Urban Meyer. Earlier this week, Urban Meyer entered rarified air with his third National Championship, leading Ohio State Buckeyes to an upset victory over the Oregon Ducks. Just a few months ago, in Sept. 2014, REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer presented a revealing look at Meyer, revealing the amazing highs and painful lows of being at the helm of a National Championship team. In a new interview, Kremer sits down with Meyer to discuss how winning a National Championship feels this time around.
During his six seasons as head football coach with the University of Florida, Urban Meyer captured two National Championships. Less than two years after winning the 2008 title, however, he shocked the college football world by retiring at age 46, citing health and family. But there was more to the story than the reported chest pains. Meyer could only stay away from the game so long before his desire to patrol the sidelines returned, and in 2012 took the reins at Ohio State University. Kremer originally talked with the 50-year-old to discuss his departure from Florida and his new position at one of the nation’s most pressure-filled football programs, learning how he intended to balance work and family – and hearing from Meyer’s wife and daughters whether he was living up to his end of the bargain.
Producer: Jordan Kronick.
Other HBO playdates: Jan. 20 (4:40 a.m.), 22 (7:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 24 (10:45 a.m.), 26 (10:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m.) and 30 (2:30 p.m., 9:00 p.m.), and Feb. 1 (10:00 a.m.) and 3 (6:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Jan. 23 (3:30 p.m.), 28 (10:00 p.m.) and 31 (2:00 p.m., 1:30 a.m.), and Feb. 5 (6:00 p.m., 1:15 a.m.), 12 (8:45 a.m.), 14 (2:30 p.m.) and 16 (12:05 a.m.)
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is available on multiple platforms, including HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.
Follow REAL SPORTS updates on HBO.com/realsports and facebook.com/realsports. Immediately following the debut of this month’s show on Jan. 20, log on to HBO.com/realsports for a special overtime session hosted by Bryant Gumbel.
The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.