Man in the Arena on ESPN Plus

Ed Hillel

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Am I the only one watching this? Brady is doing a 10-episode documentary series on each of his superbowl seasons, and yesterday they started with 2001. A good amount for Pats fans in re-hash, but the interviews with Willie and Drew were new and awesome/heart breaking. Drew’s such a good dude, he did this for Brady even though you can tell how much it STILL hurts him.

Next week, we’re on to Carolina. Every Tuesday for the next 9 weeks.
 

Ed Hillel

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Since you mentioned him, I’d frankly rather watch a doc on Drew at this point. Brady has (thankfully) been covered to death.
I don’t think we’ve seen much on the bad ones. I’m actually more interested in those than the others. Especially, you know…
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I don’t think we’ve seen much on the bad ones. I’m actually more interested in those than the others. Especially, you know…
Yup, for example Randy is a pretty affable guy on the media side right now, but I'd love to see an authentic interview of his thoughts after 18-1. He might have KG language talking about that missed opportunity. To be fair though, if it is anything like my friend and I walking out of the stadium, it may be a case of less agitation and more pure disbelief and stunned silence.
 

Gash Prex

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Given its a ESPN + exclusive, I'll have to wait till its available in other formats someday. Too bad - I'm sure its very interesting.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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Brady is becoming a media OG. Pretty sure sure he has a team doing it for him - he probably has neither the time nor the chops - but everything since Tom vs Time has been spot on, and his social media posts are hilarious. He really has a good crew.

Edit: Sneaky hot take: he will coach after this. Maybe not immediately after. But he loves the minutia of the game that much.
 

Ed Hillel

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Given its a ESPN + exclusive, I'll have to wait till its available in other formats someday. Too bad - I'm sure its very interesting.
If any of you have Disney Plus, there’s a good chance you have it free in a bundle and don’t know it. Just fwiw.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If any of you have Disney Plus, there’s a good chance you have it free in a bundle and don’t know it. Just fwiw.
The bundle of D+, Hulu, and ESPN+ is the cost of the first two individually, so if you have the first two already, odds are the same log-in credentials will work on ESPN.
 

derrotehahn

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I thought it was good. Not any earth shattering new stuff for Pats fans but it was well produced and entertaining. I'll definitely be watcing the rest of the series. ESPN+ also has a 25 min video of Willie McGinest breaking down plays from that Super Bowl which was a good watch. Its part of their "Detail" series.
 

Bergs

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I was bitching about the NHL games getting moved to ESPN+. Then I remembered I already had it with my Disney/HULU bundle. Then I logged in and was blown away by how much content there is. TONS of collegiate sports live, and lots of documentaries and specials. ESPN sucks, but ESPN+ does not.

Edit: P.S. - episode 1 of Man in the Arena was great. Looking forward to the next one!
 
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Big McCorkle

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I thought it was good. Not any earth shattering new stuff for Pats fans but it was well produced and entertaining. I'll definitely be watcing the rest of the series.
Yeah, that was my thinking. If you've seen the 2001 America's Game, you've pretty much seen this, although Bledsoe's involvement is somewhat new. I imagine once the series moves on beyond the three years with good America's Game docs (2001, 2003, 2004), it'll really hit its stride, especially when it covers the years where the Patriots lost in the SB. 2007 should be great.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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The Plus is well worth it for my wife as a big women's college basketball fan and myself as a men's college bball fan. During the season the menu is overloaded with games at all competitive levels. There is just enough the remainder of the year for us to keep from only subscribing during the winter months.
 

johnmd20

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I was bitching about the NHL games getting moved to ESPN+. Then I remembered I already had it with my Disney/HULU bundle. Then I logged in and was blown away by how much content there is. TONS of collegiate sports live, and lots of documentaries and specials. ESPN sucks, but ESPN+ does not.

Edit: P.S. - episode 1 of Man in the Arena was great. Looking forward to the next one!
ESPN Plus is awesome for a sports fan. I agree.
 

SoxinSeattle

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1. It was great to go back down memory lane. This is the ultimate porn for me.
2. I had forgotten how much I love TB12. I think I have a bit of scorned lover syndrome though I completely understand him moving on.
3. Drew Bledsoe is a god damn national treasure. One of the better humans.
4. What TB and BB did hear for 19? years is impossible to process.
5. I have never seen highlights of the Scottish game and if I decide to watch it will be quite difficult.
 

Preacher

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After watching this, I continue to be surprised that Bledsoe completely vanished from the football world after he retired. He seemed to love football. Seems like he’d want to continue to be around the game. He didn’t pursue a career on the broadcast side like so many ex-QBs. He knows the game, he’s articulate. Didn’t pursue any coaching jobs. He just went off into the sunset and started making wine.
 

Ralphwiggum

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After watching this, I continue to be surprised that Bledsoe completely vanished from the football world after he retired. He seemed to love football. Seems like he’d want to continue to be around the game. He didn’t pursue a career on the broadcast side like so many ex-QBs. He knows the game, he’s articulate. Didn’t pursue any coaching jobs. He just went off into the sunset and started making wine.
I haven’t watched it yet but Drew fell in love with wine, and the choice to be a winemaker rather than a football coach or announcer allowed him to spend way more time with his family. Seems like an obvious choice to me. Football coaches lead horribly transient lives and announcers have to travel a ton.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Bledsoe mentioning what he did the day after the SB was heartbreaking.

Bradys gravity never allowed me to think about the dynasty any other way. But, from Bledsoes perspective - $100M man going into the prime of his career - its easy to imagine him leading the team to multiple super bowls ala Brady. 2001 - 2005 alone turn his career from a very good QB into a HOF QB.

When he stepped in for Brady against the Steelers in the playoffs, even after all these years, Drew's first thought was, "wow, this is what it feels like to have time to throw the ball. This is nice." The idea that he could have ended up as a HOF had he not gotten injured isn't all that farfetched.
 

Preacher

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I haven’t watched it yet but Drew fell in love with wine, and the choice to be a winemaker rather than a football coach or announcer allowed him to spend way more time with his family. Seems like an obvious choice to me. Football coaches lead horribly transient lives and announcers have to travel a ton.
I totally get it. I guess I’m just a little surprised. Wine making seems an obvious choice to me but I’m not a football expert.
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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After watching this, I continue to be surprised that Bledsoe completely vanished from the football world after he retired. He seemed to love football. Seems like he’d want to continue to be around the game. He didn’t pursue a career on the broadcast side like so many ex-QBs. He knows the game, he’s articulate. Didn’t pursue any coaching jobs. He just went off into the sunset and started making wine.
And the name of the CEO & Director of Winemaking at Doubleback (Bledsoe's winery) is... Josh McDaniels.
 
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RG33

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I watched it this evening and enjoyed it. As others have mentioned, nothing revolutionary for Pats fans who have been enjoying this ride for so long, but it was well done and Willie and Drew were both great. Also as others have said, seeing the sacrifice that Drew endured and the grace with which he endured it appreciated by his teammates — especially 20 years later was rather touching.

On an aside, my sister used to manage Whiskey’s in Boston, and Drew was a frequent visitor in the middle/late 90’s, and she absolutely DESPISED him. He would get drunk, pass out on the bar, hit on waitresses, etc., typical 20-something year old behavior. I love reminding her what a class act he was and how important he was to that 1st superbowl team — she is going to roll her eyes at episode 1 purely because of his participation.
 

sal16cal

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This. I’ve seen every Patriots video ,Americas game etc. Some of the stuff is repetive I don’t need to see anymore pictures Brady as a kid.

Its worth watching for Drew alone.
 

cshea

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Lawyer and Rodney were the interviews for episode 2. Mostly Rodney, obviously Lawyer got play early on when they went through his getting cut. I was a little bummed there was no mention of the intentional safety game in Denver. The episode covered the bookend 31-0 games with the Milloy drama and "they hate their coach", the Indy 4th down stop then the AFCCG and Super Bowl. Skipped over the Tennessee divisional game.

I'm enjoying this for the Pats porn and nostalgia, though this was another one that basically re-hashed stuff Pats fans are already well versed in. The episodes on the Super Bowls they lost will probably be far more interesting than the winning ones since they don't make Americas Game or season retrospective DVD's for the SB loser.

Would guess Bruschi is an interview for Philly 1 next week. Not sure who else. Is Corey Dillon around?
 

NortheasternPJ

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Lawyer and Rodney were the interviews for episode 2. Mostly Rodney, obviously Lawyer got play early on when they went through his getting cut. I was a little bummed there was no mention of the intentional safety game in Denver. The episode covered the bookend 31-0 games with the Milloy drama and "they hate their coach", the Indy 4th down stop then the AFCCG and Super Bowl. Skipped over the Tennessee divisional game.

I'm enjoying this for the Pats porn and nostalgia, though this was another one that basically re-hashed stuff Pats fans are already well versed in. The episodes on the Super Bowls they lost will probably be far more interesting than the winning ones since they don't make Americas Game or season retrospective DVD's for the SB loser.

Would guess Bruschi is an interview for Philly 1 next week. Not sure who else. Is Corey Dillon around?
It’s really a more honest Americas Game so far, which is awesome. Hearing Drew be less filtered, Willie talking about how awesome that D was and they knew they were badass is great. Brady saying in Episode 1 about how he was no way ready for the Pitt AFC Championship and couldn’t slow down the game or figure out what was going On was refreshing to hear vs the normal canned answers.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I am willing to bet that I am not the only one who watched the segment where Brady discusses how important it is to have mentors as a young player - no spoilers but he talks about how Belichick helped in that regard - and thought about parallels from then to now.

And just to add to the chorus, this series is worth it if you are a Patriots fan. Its really good.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I am willing to bet that I am not the only one who watched the segment where Brady discusses how important it is to have mentors as a young player - no spoilers but he talks about how Belichick helped in that regard - and thought about parallels from then to now.

And just to add to the chorus, this series is worth it if you are a Patriots fan. Its really good.
Fully agreed. When this was announced I was out on it. I had enough of the many rehashes and the whole Brady story, but this is excellent.
 

Shaky Walton

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I assume that ESPN decided that putting this on its ESPN plus service would result in folks buying that service.

It leads to so many questions.

Was Brady fully aware and cool with such a limited audience?

Has ESPN gotten the bang for its buck? Are people in fact signing up?

Does ESPN appreciate than many of us are annoyed that we have to wait for the inevitable re-runs on the regular ESPN channels?

While there will inevitably be nuggets we don't know, the most likely suspects -- PATS fans -- probably already know most of what is being presented...do they give a fuck?

Apart from the questions, there is one answer. And it's "yes." Yes, I could hate ESPN more than I already did.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I assume that ESPN decided that putting this on its ESPN plus service would result in folks buying that service.

It leads to so many questions.

Was Brady fully aware and cool with such a limited audience?

Has ESPN gotten the bang for its buck? Are people in fact signing up?

Does ESPN appreciate than many of us are annoyed that we have to wait for the inevitable re-runs on the regular ESPN channels?

While there will inevitably be nuggets we don't know, the most likely suspects -- PATS fans -- probably already know most of what is being presented...do they give a fuck?

Apart from the questions, there is one answer. And it's "yes." Yes, I could hate ESPN more than I already did.
You mean you couldn’t hate them more?
 

johnmd20

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I assume that ESPN decided that putting this on its ESPN plus service would result in folks buying that service.

It leads to so many questions.

Was Brady fully aware and cool with such a limited audience?

Has ESPN gotten the bang for its buck? Are people in fact signing up?

Does ESPN appreciate than many of us are annoyed that we have to wait for the inevitable re-runs on the regular ESPN channels?

While there will inevitably be nuggets we don't know, the most likely suspects -- PATS fans -- probably already know most of what is being presented...do they give a fuck?

Apart from the questions, there is one answer. And it's "yes." Yes, I could hate ESPN more than I already did.
I am for sure not an ESPN apologist, but ESPN Plus is a phenomenal and comprehensive service. It has a ton of stuff and now has a shitload of NHL, too.

Are you angry at Disney for making people pay for Falcon and the Winter Solider or Hawkeye? How about Amazon for The Boys or Wheel of Time? Or Apple for Ted Lasso ad For All Mankind? HBO chargers people to watch Mare of Eastown or Insecure. Paramount Plus charged people who wanted to watch The Stand or Star Trek or Twilight Zone. Peacock chargers for people who want to watch NBC shows and then other stuff like The Lost Symbol or Girls4eva. Hulu also charges for people who want to watch Normal People or Handmaid's Tale. Netflix charges for people who want to watch Locke and Key and The Witcher and Midnight Mass.

You can choose to opt in or not. But it's a normal part of the entertainment world right now.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I hate ESPN too and don’t consume anything on the network other than live sports. I do want to watch this, but so far not enough to subscribe. That said, being angry at them for producing content you want to see in order to get you to sign up for their streaming service is a bizarre thing to be angry about in 2021.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I hate ESPN too and don’t consume anything on the network other than live sports. I do want to watch this, but so far not enough to subscribe. That said, being angry at them for producing content you want to see in order to get you to sign up for their streaming service is a bizarre thing to be angry about in 2021.
Gotta protect the wall! Deflategate! They hate their
Coach!!!
 

RedOctober3829

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The best line from Episode 2 was this from Rodney.

“We loved Tom. We wouldn’t have fought for him so hard if he thought he was the best player on the team”

speaks to the fact that your best players have to be the most selfless if you’re going to win titles.
 

johnmd20

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I hate ESPN too and don’t consume anything on the network other than live sports. I do want to watch this, but so far not enough to subscribe. That said, being angry at them for producing content you want to see in order to get you to sign up for their streaming service is a bizarre thing to be angry about in 2021.
Movie theaters, am I rite? They want me to PAY for a ticket to see this movie? What the fuck? How have we as a society accepted this?
 

tims4wins

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Finally watched the first episode. Anyone catch that they made an error with the timeline in the Super Bowl? Willie was talking about how he wanted to make up for the penalty, and about how he had a big sack of Warner. Both were true. But the episode made it seem like the sack of Warner happened after the Rams had tied the game. That was false. The game winning FG drive happened immediately after the Rams tied it.

For a series that is geared toward hard core fans, I don't like those types of errors.
 

RG33

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great idea but they should wait until he is done because what if he goes to the super bowl this year
He’s 45 and went over the cliff years ago. He’s done. Toast. Nothing let.
 
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Speaking of Willie and Warner, if McGinest doesn't hold Faulk on the fumble return play, Adam Vinatieri doesn't make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, IMO. Not saying that's fair, I just think it's true.
 

Euclis20

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Possible, although he'd still have a super bowl winning kick, 4 rings, 1st all-time in FGs made (regular season and playoffs) and 2nd all-time in XPs made (also regular season and playoffs). He'd still have a pretty good shot.
 

Ed Hillel

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Finally watched the first episode. Anyone catch that they made an error with the timeline in the Super Bowl? Willie was talking about how he wanted to make up for the penalty, and about how he had a big sack of Warner. Both were true. But the episode made it seem like the sack of Warner happened after the Rams had tied the game. That was false. The game winning FG drive happened immediately after the Rams tied it.

For a series that is geared toward hard core fans, I don't like those types of errors.
I did notice that. A bit of fake news that rubbed me the wrong way, too.
 

tims4wins

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Speaking of Willie and Warner, if McGinest doesn't hold Faulk on the fumble return play, Adam Vinatieri doesn't make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, IMO. Not saying that's fair, I just think it's true.
Possible, although he'd still have a super bowl winning kick, 4 rings, 1st all-time in FGs made (regular season and playoffs) and 2nd all-time in XPs made (also regular season and playoffs). He'd still have a pretty good shot.
I agree with Mugsy on this one. Take away the Rams kick and compare him to Gost. His counting stats are better - and that matters. But despite the longevity of his career, he "only" went to 3 Pro Bowls and made 3 All Pro teams. Gost went to 4 Pro Bowls and made 2 All Pro teams. Gost has 3 rings, and could easily have had... 5, 6, however many you want to say. With better accuracy (different era to a degree). And Gost would have had 2 memorable postseason kicks - the Rams in 2018 and the Chargers in 2006. Vinatieri would have the Raiders in 2001 and the Panthers in 2003. Vinatieri's were more memorable / difficult but that Rams one was key to his legend.