Sport In America: OUR DEFINING STORIES,
debutING THANKSGIVING DAY,
THURSDAY, NOV. 28, exclusively ON hbo®
NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2013 – HBO, Sports Illustrated and Endgame Entertainment, in association with Playground, present SPORT IN AMERICA: OUR DEFINING STORIES, an all-new documentary that examines how the universal thread of sport unites us as a people and has shaped America’s character. The special debuts on Thanksgiving Day, THURSDAY, NOV. 28 (6:00-7:35 p.m. ET/PT), when families from coast to coast gather to enjoy the holiday and share sports.
The documentary will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.
“This is one of the most wide-ranging sports projects that HBO has launched, and we are delighted to collaborate with such prestigious partners, who share our passion for storytelling,” said Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports.
“Sports Illustrated is proud to be part of this outstanding documentary,” said Paul Fichtenbaum, Editor, Time Inc. Sports Group. “It embodies the emotional storytelling and deep appreciation for the events that helped shape generations of sports fans, which has been at the heart of our enterprise for nearly 60 years.”
James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment and Adam Del Deo, who have previously collaborated on several titles, including “Every Little Step,” which was shortlisted for the Academy Award®, are directing and executive producing the special with executive producers Colin Callender of Playground and Terry McDonell. The compelling project explores our national character and shared history through the prism of sport and seeks to answer why it is such an integral part of the American culture.
“HBO and Sports Illustrated have been terrific partners on this film and we’re thrilled to announce the Thanksgiving Day premiere date,” stated Stern. “Sport speaks as a unifying language and is one of the only aspects of modern life that crosses lines of gender, race and privilege, giving us a real window into who we are.”
The filmmakers collected thousands of personal stories from fans who have been part of sports’ most transcendent events to create a tapestry of stories reflecting our culture. It examines what these events meant to us, why they moved us, why they inspired us and what they tell us about who we are.
The presentation includes interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Mike Tyson, Steve Kerr, Frank Deford, David Maraniss, Ron Shelton, Curt Menefee, Michele Beadle, Summer Sanders, Jerry Reinsdorf and many others, featuring stories from a fan’s perspective. Thornton recounts throwing out the first pitch before a Cardinals home game to St. Louis legend Bob Gibson, tossing a slider he learned to throw as a young boy from a book by the Hall of Fame fireballer.
Do you recall how it felt when a hobbled Kirk Gibson hit a rocket into the right-field stands to win game one of the 1988 World Series? The moment when Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, threw a no-hitter for the New York Yankees in 1993? Or Brandi Chastain’s signature overtime goal in the 1999 World Cup?
Collecting poignant remembrances from fans across the nation, the 95-minute film covers a wide spectrum of the American sports landscape, including baseball, football, hockey, tennis, basketball, boxing, high school athletics, the Boston Marathon and the Olympic Games. Landmark moments revisited include the 1972 tragedy at the Munich Games, the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Hank Aaron breaking the major league baseball home run record, the emergence of women’s sports in America via Title IX legislation and the extraordinary night of the first NFL game played at the Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. SPORT IN AMERICA: OUR DEFINING STORIES ranges from the historic achievement of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games to the extraordinary comeback by the Chicago Blackhawks in the decisive game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.