Nothing is ever easy in fantasy football, and that’s what makes it fun. Whether it be injuries, poor matchups or underperformance it’s rare that we can count on starting the same players week-in-and-week-out. Sometimes we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for options in good spots that given week for a desperation play.
So what took so long to finally do A Football Life on this larger-than-life figure whose impact went way beyond the field? Well, it wasn’t for lack of trying by NFL Films.
Anthony Smith, producer of the film, said Brown was always at the top of the list for A Football Life. However, Brown remained elusive in turning down inquiries. “HBO did a documentary on Brown in the early 2000s,” Smith said. “Whenever we brought it to him and his family, they felt the story already had been told.”
Smith, though, thought he detected an opening when he saw Brown and his wife, Monique, at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton in 2015. She remarked that she wanted to do something special to celebrate his life on Brown’s 80th birthday.
One thing lead to another, and Brown finally agreed to do A Football Life on him. “He now has (teenage) children who travel with him,” Smith said. “I’m not speaking for Jim, but they are older now and they are getting an appreciation of his legacy and what he has meant for people. I think they finally felt the time was right to tell his story.”
That brought up the next challenge for Smith. How do you tell the many aspects of Brown’s immense life within a one-hour A Football Life? Smith admitted there was talk of doing a longer film on Brown. Eventually, they opted to stay within the format for the series.
“There was a sense of leaving the audience wanting more,” Smith said. Smith, though, still had to make sure he hit all the high-points in this fast-moving film. Of course, there are numerous clips of Brown’s devastation of opposing defenses during his spectacular 9-year career.