Wednesday, July 11, 2007

HBO creating an Ohio State vs Michigan Documentary

I got an interesting e-mail forward from the world's coolest older sister this morning and thought it was definitely newsworthy.

Apparently, HBO is planning to release a documentary on the Ohio State-Michigan Rivalry. The expected release date is Tuesday, November 13th, the Tuesday before the game itself.

The following is the e-mail received:

For Immediate Release

HBO SPORTS BEGINS PRODUCTION ON ITS FIRST-EVER COLLEGE FOOTBALL
DOCUMENTARY, EXAMINING THE RIVALRY
BETWEEN OHIO STATE AND MICHIGAN, DEBUTING NOV. 13

NEW YORK, July 10, 2007 - HBO Sports has begun production on a
documentary chronicling the rivalry of Ohio State and the University of
Michigan, one of the most glorious rivalries in college football
history, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO
Sports. Steeped in a rich tradition dating back to their inaugural
meeting in 1897, this rivalry extends beyond the pursuit of a Big Ten
Title, on both sides engendering team pride and spirit rarely equaled
elsewhere. Presented four days before the Ohio State Buckeyes take on
the Michigan Wolverines at Ann Arbor this fall, the documentary debuts
TUESDAY, NOV. 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Each year, the football programs at Ohio State and Michigan gear up with
a common goal: to beat their archrival on the third weekend in November,
no matter the rankings, no matter the score. Widely considered college
football's biggest rivalry, these two Big Ten powerhouses frequently
dominate the standings, and routinely attract game-day crowds exceeding
100,000. On Nov. 18, 2006, more than 105,000 fans watched No. 1 Ohio
State defeat No. 2 Michigan by a score of 42-39, with an additional 21.8
million tuning in on TV.

"This film will split the viewers right down the middle," said
Greenburg. "The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is considered one of the
most compelling in college football history, consuming not only the
Midwest, but the nation. Spanning more than a century, with names like
Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, Archie Griffin and Desmond Howard, the
characters and storylines of this yearly showdown are memorable. So
there is no better place for HBO Sports to delve into the college
football realm than with these two extraordinary programs."

Separated by only 200 miles, Ohio State University and the University of
Michigan began their football rivalry in 1897. U of M won that first
game 34-0 and dominated the series until 1919, when the Buckeyes turned
the tables, winning 13-3. Since then, the two teams have remained fairly
evenly matched, with Michigan leading the series 57-40-6. Historically,
the match-up has often determined who will win the Big Ten title, a
prime bowl spot, and even the Heisman Trophy.

Exploring the exuberant personalities of coaches like Woody Hayes and Bo
Schembechler, who sat with HBO for his last long-form interview before
his death last year, the documentary traces the importance of the game
for each university, as well as the larger sports' world. A high-profile
list of interviewees will weigh in on the intense rivalry.

Unlike many other sports rivalries, the Ohio State-Michigan face-off has
not only endured, but is growing. The Wall Street Journal notes, "The
game continues to carry the most genuine mark of a great rivalry: The
feud between the two schools injects itself into everything from
business and politics to an annual blood drive where volunteers from the
two campuses vie to see which side can siphon the most plasma."

Executive producers of the documentary are Ross Greenburg and Rick
Bernstein; produced by George Roy.

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