We're thankful to @bubbaprog for letting us know AA got this mention below on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night (no big deal)...
Olbermann reunited with his old partner in crime, Dan Patrick, to talk about what they expected in the movie version of the book, "Those Guys Have All The Fun."
While a lot of folks have had fun trying to cast the movie, I think the more interesting question is what portion of ESPN's history will the movie cover. Ryan took a stab at some possibilities which led to the Olbermann shout out. Dan Patrick commented that he's hearing the movie will focus on the mid 90's so it looks like the movie will be more focused on characters and individuals and not the uphill battle ESPN had to fight in its infancy to survive.
How that book transitions into a movie is the million dollar question. If you've read the book, you can see the challenge at hand. Being a Hollywood expert having watched lots of movies and every episode of Entourage, here is how I'd do it (call my people so I can get EP credit).
The movie starts in 1987 and ends sometimes in 1994. 1987 is a good starting place because 2 of the 9 major steps in ESPN's rise happened that year. You can mention the buzz around the America's Cup coverage while management preps for the intense NFL bidding process. A narrator (Dan Patrick? Bob Ley?) can then guide you back to how other meetings could have caused ESPN to stumble early on. You can do quick flashbacks to the first 3 steps of ESPN's history which were all business orientated. In fact, with quick setups and cutaways you can even add some important steps like getting NCAA tournament games and Budweiser signing on as the first sponsor. Really, all of those stories just need a quick setup from a narrator and maybe 20 seconds in the flashback. You could cover a lot more ground going this route and add a lot of context.
I think the logical end point is 1994 with the start of the This Is SportsCenter commercials. The real meat of the movie outlines 2 main stories. 1) The business side where there were some very shrewd decisions but a revolving door of ownership and management. 2) John Walsh's impact on the company and the rising star of many of the ESPN personalities as well as the development of a frat house like culture. Of course, Olbermann, Patrick, and the Big Show would play a central role.
The infamous launch party of ESPN2 would serve as the beginning of the end as the company culture has drifted a bit off course from it's scrappy and humble roots. From there you close out the movie with the various tensions between on air personalities and their managers and end the film with the "This Is Sportscenter commercials." For each commercial shoot you could add an epilogue for that individual and how their future with the company played out.
What are your thoughts on this approach? How would you go about not sacrificing cinematic ambition in favor of commercial appeal?
If Fox is looking for a miracle event to put them back on the map, it cannot be the Olympics. As a network, I just don't think they're ready to take on the huge responsibility. Forget the idea of television personalities - there are much larger problems.NBC/Comcast has made progress and could pull out a decent broadcast. If they continue to make strides in building the network, I could see them being a big player in the next bidding process.However, I don't think you can beat the resources of ABC/ESPN. You would think (or at least hope) that they win the bid. Yes, it would be sailing in uncharted waters but with stage being so grand, you know ABC/ESPN fully embrace the experience.
ESPN promised no West Coast Delay last time the Olympic rights were up for grabs. If I lived on the West Coast (which I don't), I'd be pulling for ESPN. That said, I'm pulling for Disney/ABC/ESPN as well. They have resources unmatched by any other network and would able to have more live broadcasts. (ESPN would move almost all their studio shows to the location.) I've also always been a supporter of ESPN/ABC. I wonder if ABC/NBC/FOX affiliates would kick in money to increase the bid prices in exchange for the great local news lead-in.
Ask the BCS and NHL and even MLB how working with Fox hurt them. Even the NFL last year with them was tough to stomach. I don't know why they suck that much, but they do. God I hope this doesn't happen.
The Olympics would wither away with Fox. It would be fun to have Gus Johnson doing Olympic basketball but other than that, it's painful to think about the Olympics on Fox