STATE OF PLAY Documentary: “First Ladies”

StateOfPlay_logo-300x196Overview: 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 think they missed the mark with this one. When I had first seen the title I thought we might get a piece about some of the big ladies in the sports business. I thought we should see the owners, trainers, coaches and managers of sports teams that happened to be women. You know, like Delta Burke’s Diane Barrow in HBO’s 1ST & TEN.

Now that a scant description has surfaced for what the hour will actually be about I’m a bit disappointed because I liked my idea better. The following is not a preview but an actual scene from the film portion of the show. It shows just who Kevin Harvick’s support system is.  


Gut Reaction: Very simply put, this is not about powerful women in the top seats of sports business but about the women who stand behind their men as they pursue their endeavors in the world of sports. Their collective story was not a terrible one by any means I just don’t know how important an examination it was.

StateOfPlay_FirstLadies-300x169All three women have a slightly different story to tell. Mrs. Tomlin is her own woman with a business taking off and a NFL coach (of the Pittsburgh Steelers) for a husband who doesn’t bring his work home with him. Mrs. Harvick stays as close as she can with her NASCAR racing husband as she travels the circuit and understands the sport. Mrs. Lenhoff maintains the homefront in Texas where her husband coaches big-time high school football. They are diverse women with nice enough stories to tell who all confess in the roundtable that even with the highs and lows they wouldn’t change a thing because their respective husbands are happy at what they do.


In Conclusion: it was pleasant enough installment, but that isn’t what I really hoped for from STATE OF PLAY. I like the first notion I had for what “First Ladies” should have been about instead. You can catch it on HBOGo or on HBO on 12.13 at 1:00pm, 12.14 11:30am and on 12.15 at 12:45pm.

It is our understanding that this is the last installment of STATE OF PLAY for now. We will see if the show, from HBO Sports, continues at a later date.  


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