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STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “First Ladies”

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “First Ladies”

Overview: The fourth installment focuses on the challenges of balancing the pursuit of professional success and family obligations. This film focuses on three couples whose vows shape their decisions on the field and at home. What role has each of these spouses played in her family’s success? Profiled are Mike and Kiya Tomlin, Kevin and DeLana Harvick, and Scott and Megan Lenhoff. Mike Tomlin is head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kevin Harvick drives a racecar on the NASCAR circuit, and Scott Lenhoff is head football coach at Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas. Expectations:  Before I even see this installment I have to say I...

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “Culture Shock”

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “Culture Shock”

Overview: This third edition of the STATE OF PLAY documentary series from HBO Sports starts with a 30-minute documentary that explores how the National Football League, America’s most popular sports organization, is confronting the enormous challenge of making the game safer, chronicling the physical toll of the game on its players, a subject that has taken center stage over the past two years. How does the sport survive amidst a proliferation of long-term injuries and lawsuits? The film begins with Berg revisiting a heartbreaking moment in Texas High School football history: the 2003 game between Westlake High School and Madison High of...

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: Broken

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: Broken

Overview: This second edition of HBO Sports STATE OF PLAY tells the story of college football player Eric LeGrand of Avenel, NJ (No. 52 at Rutgers) and mountain biker Steve Shope of Newfields, NH, who both competed at a high level, but suddenly, became paralyzed on the field. This moving film follows both men and their families as they struggle to accept new physical limitations, painting a raw and inspiring portrait of endurance and love. Berg hosts a panel discussion that includes Eric LeGrand, his mother, Karen, Steve Shope and his wife, Julie. STATE OF PLAY: BROKEN is executive produced by Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey; co-executive...

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “Happiness”

STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “Happiness”

Overview: The first new edition of STATE OF PLAY begins with a 35-minute documentary that explores the lives of three former NFL greats, quarterback Brett Favre, running back Tiki Barber and wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, as they transition from leading the lives of American superstars to those of civilians. With the help of experts in the burgeoning science of happiness, the film follows the players’ journeys to find the surprising truths of what made them so happy while in the game and how to find happiness outside of the sport that defined them for so long. Also interviewed for the film are: former NFL stars Howie Long, Michael Strahan,...

HBO Boxing PPV: Pacquiao vs Algieri 11.22.14

HBO Boxing PPV: Pacquiao vs Algieri 11.22.14

This week fight fans will need to shell out a bit more to the cable company to follow the sport. Saturday night brings us the next fight from the Filipino sensation, Manny Pacquiao.  The fight will be broadcast on HBO pay-per-view starting at 9pm eastern time. Many of you might be thinking who is Chris Algieri and why would I pay an extra $60 to see him fight one of the world’s most famous and talented fighters? Pacquiao is an offensive dynamo exhibiting expert ring technique, blazing hand speed and enough pop in his punches to put opponents to sleep. Chris Algieri got a severely damaged eye to go with a gift decision last summer...

HBO Boxing for Saturday 11.15.14: Klitschko vs Pulev & HBO Latino Bouts

HBO Boxing for Saturday 11.15.14: Klitschko vs Pulev & HBO Latino Bouts

HBO has a very late addition to schedule this weekend with an afternoon showcase featuring the legitimate heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko against a typically game but over matched opponent in Kubrat Pulev. For those not in the know, Klitschko has been the most dominant heavyweight in the sport since Joe Louis.  This is partially due to his superior work ethic, talent and genetics as well as the historically soft division which has seen him beating up fighters whose best days were in the 1990’s along with prospects that will never be near the same level as Wlad.  You can expect a big knockout but try not to fall asleep before...

HBO Boxing: Hopkins vs Kovalev – Saturday 11.08.14

HBO Boxing: Hopkins vs Kovalev – Saturday 11.08.14

What if I told you a 49 year old man was going to get in a boxing ring with an undefeated 31 year old with 25 wins and 23 knockouts? You might think that sounds like a farce, a laughable mismatch. In fact it is the best matchup, on paper, in the sport of boxing for the rest of the year. That’s because the 49 year old is Bernard Hopkins, master chess player of the ring. He has never been knocked out or cleanly defeated by decision, a fighter that has forgotten more about boxing than most will ever know. He has been underestimated in every major fight he has had. The 31 year old is Sergey Kovalev. He is young, hungry, in his physical...

HBO Sports: Fall Boxing Preview 2014

HBO Sports: Fall Boxing Preview 2014

If you are an HBO fan you are at least tangentially aware that HBO broadcasts boxing matches.  What you may not be aware of is that HBO is the pinnacle of the sport, showcasing virtually all of the top fighters and fights and has been doing so for more than 30 years.  The fight game can be extremely simple, a contest of wills between two individuals to see who can hit the other more with their fists.  At the same time the sport can be densely rich with personalities, back stories and politics that rival Game of Thrones.  Welcome the the fall HBO boxing preview! October 18th –  Triple G vs Rubio and Donaire vs Walters If you...

Real Sports September 2014 Review

Real Sports September 2014 Review

If you subscribe to HBO and are not a sports fan, it’s possible that you haven’t given Real Sports a try.  That would be a tragic oversight because Real Sports is one the best investigative journalism programs on television today.  It has been described as “60 Minutes for sports” but I find it to be the equal of that venerable show.  It never fails to broadcast moving, important and timely stories about personalities, business and heart.Segment 1 – Urban Meyer Profile We are all aware of the physical and mental toll that playing sports at the highest levels can cost for the athletes.  In this report Real...

STATE OF PLAY Documentaries Return in November

STATE OF PLAY Documentaries Return in November

Straight from an HBO Press Release comes news of additional episodes of the sports documentary series STATE OF PLAY. HBOWatch announced the creation of that series and since only one report has aired. That piece, STATE OF PLAY: TROPHY KIDS, was reviewed. Now, here is a look at what is ahead.   HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg (pictured) and Sarah Aubrey team up again for four innovative documentaries from the acclaimed STATE OF PLAY franchise, debuting Tuesdays in prime time for four consecutive weeks starting TUESDAY, NOV. 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.   STATE OF PLAY: CULTURE SHOCK, the first new film...

HBO Won’t Be Filming 24/7: NHL’s Winter Classic

HBO Won’t Be Filming 24/7: NHL’s Winter Classic

For the past few seasons HBO has filmed the NHL’s yearly event, an outdoor game called “The Winter Classic”.  But more importantly than the event itself, HBO’s cameras captured the personalities, the angst and the joy of being a pro hockey player. Think Hard Knocks on ice. (Or don’t that sounds weird). Today both HBO and the NHL have confirmed that the show will not continue on HBO’s air.  Here’s HBO’s statement: Everybody at HBO enjoyed working with the NHL and its teams on 24/7 the past four years. It was an exciting endeavor and we’re very proud of the never-before-seen presentation of...

Hard Knocks Falcons: Full Contact

Hard Knocks Falcons: Full Contact

The NFL preseason is in full swing, and Hard Knocks is picking up the pace. The second episode fixed many of the problems with the premiere, offering fewer story-lines at once and focusing on the on-the-field action. While the show still focused an incredible amount of time on the player’s (admittedly attractive) wives, viewers were given a more in-depth look to the hard work and competition that goes into the final product.Beginning with a look at General Manager Thomas Dimitrioff, the show set the stage for the perennial drama of preseason cuts. Rookies and veterans alike spend the preseason fighting for a roster spot. This episode...

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