Man in the Arena on ESPN Plus

smokin joe wood

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
755
Indianapolis, IN
I love that they played it both before and after the timeout. Did not remember that.
Yeah. The beauty of this is someone in the control room realized what a big reaction it got and just went RIGHT BACK to it. I'm sure they have a script for every called timeout for the in-venue production and someone was just like "fuck it, play it again". Gives me goosebumps.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
Yeah. The beauty of this is someone in the control room realized what a big reaction it got and just went RIGHT BACK to it. I'm sure they have a script for every called timeout for the in-venue production and someone was just like "fuck it, play it again". Gives me goosebumps.
When you put it like that, it makes it even better. This is a fantastic mental image.
 

jmcc5400

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
3,770
When you put it like that, it makes it even better. This is a fantastic mental image.
Was that the first time they played the song at Gillette? It’s certainly the first time I noticed it and I will always associate with that moment (and I’m annoyed the video cuts off before the 4th down stop).

For what it’s worth, that game may be my favorite of the entire era for the reasons mentioned upthread.
 

derrotehahn

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 18, 2015
45
Rhode Island
Was that the first time they played the song at Gillette? It’s certainly the first time I noticed it and I will always associate with that moment (and I’m annoyed the video cuts off before the 4th down stop).

For what it’s worth, that game may be my favorite of the entire era for the reasons mentioned upthread.
I don’t know if it was the first time they played it but if I remember correctly it was a song that was often played on Friday’s on the Bertrand and Zolak radio show.

And the Pats actually gave up the 4th down conversion. Thankfully it set up Duron “human victory cigar” Harmon to make a game sealing play.
 
Last edited:

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,056
Imaginationland
I don’t know if it was the first time they played it but if I remember correctly it was a song that was often played on Friday’s on the Bertrand and Zolak radio show.

And the Pats actually gave up the 4th down conversion. Thankfully it set up Duron “human victory cigar” Harmon to make a game sealing play.
Harmon was one of 14 Patriots who won 3 rings in the 2010s, but rarely seems to get his due. 21 career interceptions with New England, by my count 12 of them were in the 4th quarter. Just remarkable.
 

grsharky7

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
978
Berlin, PA
Yeah. The beauty of this is someone in the control room realized what a big reaction it got and just went RIGHT BACK to it. I'm sure they have a script for every called timeout for the in-venue production and someone was just like "fuck it, play it again". Gives me goosebumps.
I think it was the Titans game this year, but the play by play announcer on CBS made a comment that Gillette has the best playlist of any stadium in the league and they do an amazing job.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
I think it was the Titans game this year, but the play by play announcer on CBS made a comment that Gillette has the best playlist of any stadium in the league and they do an amazing job.
Yeah I think it was Harlan who said something like there's no stadium that plays more 80s hits... clearly he was loving it.
 

cournoyer

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2012
476
Enfield, Connecticut
Harmon was one of 14 Patriots who won 3 rings in the 2010s, but rarely seems to get his due. 21 career interceptions with New England, by my count 12 of them were in the 4th quarter. Just remarkable.
Just highlighting this post because I had no idea he had that many interceptions! Wasn't the best Rutgers player back there obviously but has really put together a solid career. Looked him up and he's still playing with the Falcons. Really huge part of some great teams for us for a bunch of years.
 

k-factory

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
1,568
seattle, wa
In the opening credits I was initially disappointed Jules was not going to be featured and this would be heavily family and emotion based but damn…they really nailed this episode. It was a perfect blend and so authentic.
I think an early line in the episode from one of his sisters really brought home the deflategate nonsense. Something like “the craziest thing was that Tommy was such a great ambassador for the sport and just made this thing such an injustice.”
Watching such a vulnerable and personal side of Brady this episode just makes you appreciate him that much more and makes Goodell and his goons look like the smarmy asses they are.
And that SB…just wow. For all the grief we give Hightower this season…were it not for two amazing plays from him in SB 49 and 51 I’m not sure there is a ‘man in the arena’ show.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,056
Imaginationland
And that SB…just wow. For all the grief we give Hightower this season…were it not for two amazing plays from him in SB 49 and 51 I’m not sure there is a ‘man in the arena’ show.
And he had two sacks in SB 53. Dude came to play in every Super Bowl (and perhaps not a coincidence that the D was a complete no-show in SB 52, which he missed entirely).
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
54,288
New York City
[after the Ryan fumble]"It's like, we're in business."

I would like to run through a brick wall. Please and hank you. Needless to say, this was an epic hour of TV.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
32,552
Here
As good an hour of sports documentary as you will ever see. It alone should win a number of professional awards. That was really just amazing. I'm at a complete loss for words. Wow.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
32,552
Here
One quick thing: Tom played last two drives in SB 51 with a concussion. Cheaters.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
40,721
Hartford, CT
Plaxico Burress is a douche. So is Mike Carey and his SB officiating crew.

EDIT - I am glad they showed the missed third down pass to Branch in SB46. Hit that and the Welker play on second down is academic. It’s a game of a dozen plays.
 
Last edited:

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
41,845
Plaxico Burress is a douche. So is Mike Carey and his SB officiating crew.

EDIT - I am glad they showed the missed third down pass to Branch in SB46. Hit that and the Welker play on second down is academic. It’s a game of a dozen plays.
Just incredibly poor execution by the Pats on those 2 throws. I remember thinking that Brady looked almost uncomfortable/nervous on that drive, not the calm and collected version we saw in 2014, 2016, etc. The Welker throw should have been caught but Brady threw it behind him and high. The Branch play right after was a tighter window and Branch should have slowed down a bit.

Still no doubt in my mind that Pats win that game with a healthy Gronk. The Giants weren’t equipped in the secondary to handle Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, and Branch.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
32,552
Here
Plaxico Burress is a douche. So is Mike Carey and his SB officiating crew.

EDIT - I am glad they showed the missed third down pass to Branch in SB46. Hit that and the Welker play on second down is academic. It’s a game of a dozen plays.
Very first play of the last drive Branch is crossing like 25 yards downfield. Brady throws a rocket that an underneath LB JUST deflects by a fingertip. Had he not, Branch catches the ball in stride and probably gains 40 yards.
 
Last edited:

RG33

Certain Class of Poster
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
6,260
CA
I have absolutely loved this series, and agree that episode 7 was pretty fantastic.

I can’t help be annoyed by the choice of intro/announcer dude though. I hate his voice. I want to punch it every time I hear it. It takes away like 0.2% of joy from me every episode.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
32,552
Here
I have absolutely loved this series, and agree that episode 7 was pretty fantastic.

I can’t help be annoyed by the choice of intro/announcer dude though. I hate his voice. I want to punch it every time I hear it. It takes away like 0.2% of joy from me every episode.
He’s been the ESPN announcer guy for years, but he sounds 90 now.
 

SoxinSeattle

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 6, 2003
2,092
Here
Can you imagine a world where every family is like the Brady family? It would be a much better place to live. What an episode.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
16,847
I have absolutely loved this series, and agree that episode 7 was pretty fantastic.

I can’t help be annoyed by the choice of intro/announcer dude though. I hate his voice. I want to punch it every time I hear it. It takes away like 0.2% of joy from me every episode.
The mAAAAnnn in the AhhhhhREEENA

Guy needs to be put out to pasture.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
54,288
New York City
I have absolutely loved this series, and agree that episode 7 was pretty fantastic.

I can’t help be annoyed by the choice of intro/announcer dude though. I hate his voice. I want to punch it every time I hear it. It takes away like 0.2% of joy from me every episode.
This is funny because I could have written that word for word. It's jarring how bad that dude sounds now. It does cause the start of every episode to be a negative experience.
 

Preacher

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 9, 2006
4,572
Harker Heights, TX
I can’t help be annoyed by the choice of intro/announcer dude though. I hate his voice. I want to punch it every time I hear it. It takes away like 0.2% of joy from me every episode.
Thank you! His voice is super annoying to me as well. Some vocal fry is creeping in there which compounds how grating it is.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
12,824
I was surprised we haven't smashed the intro a long time ago. I make a face and copy the voice everytime I hear it.
 

Cotillion

lurker
Jun 11, 2019
2,773
Episode 8 had dropped. I haven’t watched yet but here’s a review. Couple notes:
- no time spent on Butler
- Gronk was very worn out (not really news)

Overall seemed like Hurley did not like the episode.

View: https://twitter.com/michaelfhurley/status/1478403843297787907?s=21
I think this was always going to be the problem with this series as it gets closer to present. The Tom speak and PR stuff would win out over really being open about it all (even though some of the older stuff I assume he still kept quiet).
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
40,721
Hartford, CT
I don’t think we really need to hear from him on Butler/I don’t care. His characterization of the game is fair; they were playing catch-up the whole game because of bad defense AND, to a much lesser extent, some ill timed offensive squanders. I would fully expect him to throw bouquets to the D/ST in the next episode. If SB52 is an example of Brady and the offense nearly carrying them to a title, then SB53 is an example of the defense/special teams carrying them.

His take on the Jimmy G dynamic/Guerrero are just about useless because this entire project is - and this is true even though I like it - self hagiography designed to bolster his already impressive brand. That’s not meant as a criticism per se, but he’s too brand conscious to be taken at face value about his relationship with the team at the time. I actually think it would be a bad idea for him to sling mud, mind you, but when you do a protect centered around you telling all of us what you think about your experiences with the team you are going to invite scrutiny over how forthright you are being about the reported conflicts. Can’t have it both ways.

I wouldn’t expect him to say anything differently in the last few episodes than he has to Howard Stern and others about his departure from the Pats. He’s, again, brand conscious and non confrontational at his core. His reaction to Guerrero and TB Sr. popping off in September only confirmed that any resentment or frustration he harbored (or still harbors) with BB isn’t going to come out of his mouth.
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
17,802
I haven't watched episode 8 yet, but I was already assuming it would be my least favorite of the 9 NEP episodes. As a fan, I felt there was less joy watching the last several TB12 seasons: the stakes were impossibly high. Over the entire season, every week, every play, every injury seemed to be the difference in winning it all vs. not. It was it's own kind of fun, but it was also stressful. Apparently, the vibe wasn't great for the players, either.
 

k-factory

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
1,568
seattle, wa
The biggest surprise for me has been no Edelman. He's so entertaining and eloquent. Maybe he'll be there next episode but i expected him to be on the Seattle or Atlanta ones. The Atlanta one was a great framing though - with his sisters. And thats the thing - these are all framed from a very personal perspective, not an NFL films game centric one.
And with that I actually thought this was a pretty good episode. The series is a story arc of highs and lows and not just a victory parade. It was a chippy season and Guerrero was a big part of that so the right choice for a guest.

They've done a good job of weaving in personal storylines and all three of the super bowl losing seasons provided really valuable insights from Moss talking about his redemption arc and desire to play with Brady to Giselle and her relationship and support of Tom to this one where we get to learn a bit more about his relationship with Guerrero which is such an intrinsic aspect of Tom's story.

Tom hints at a strained relationship with BB over Guerrero but i think manages it respectfully in the show to not divulge his personal conversations with Bill - as a point he wants to make about the intrusiveness of the media and how it became less about the game and more about reporting on drama. He's totally right, the joy was sapped.
Painting Guerrero in a favorable light is expected but I'm also not overly cynical about this show being about bolstering his brand. I think his support of Alex is 100% authentic. And frankly it's hard not to respect Guerrero for the work he puts in to support an aging Tom and then a broken Gronk - and yaknow they are amazingly both still performing at a super high level.
I didn't know he was introduced by McGinest - that was interesting - especially because Willie is a big dude and the whole critique of Guerrero was that the pliability thing might be applicable to a QB but not big dudes like McGinest or Gronk that need to lift etc.

Ultimately its BB's locker room though and its understandable that he didn't want that friction in the room but its also undeniable that the support Tom was getting from Guerrero was having a major positive impact on his longevity and his immediate injury needs. The torn hand storyline details were new to me. That was insane what Tom went through and really good storytelling through the Championship Game against a tough Jaguars team with Jalen Ramsey.

I loved hearing Gronk's journey as well and seeing that insane shoestring catch in the AFCCG. Plus the Gilmore bat down. I don't know about the 'eerie' atmosphere Gronk mentions a couple of times. It was chippy and not so much fun for sure but i dunno about eerie.

Damn that was a good team - just waylaid by a bit of misfortune. The glove anecdote on the failed Brady catch was a good one - was this retroactive excuses - I dunno maybe - but it sounds plausible and that was a ridiculous injury. Pretty amazing he was able to throw such nice tight spirals.
Sure they didn't win that year but they still had a lot of amazing moments and the episode successfully pulls those out.
 

Rusty13

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 3, 2007
4,947
Pretty solid episode. Absolutely nothing about Malcolm Butler, but that was to be expected.
 

RG33

Certain Class of Poster
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
6,260
CA
I enjoyed episode 8, although I can understand some of the criticism here. I thought the understanding the Guerrero relationship was interesting, and as much as we all knew Gronk was burnt out, I don’t think I realized it that much. The guy was legitimately done with football, and he knew it early on in the 2017 season. The ending too was interesting to me — despite what Tom will say or won’t say, it likely will put to rest all of the talk about whose decision it was to leave. He knew he was gone already pretty clearly it seems.
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
17,802
I liked it more than I thought I would. It was interesting to hear a more reflective side of Gronk. And say what you will about Guerrero, but I find it hard to belive Brady plays with that hand without him. That was some crazy shit.
 
Last edited:

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
I liked it more than I thought I would. It was interesting to hear a more reflective side of Gronk. And say what you will about Guerrero, but I find it hard to belive Brady plays with that had without him. That was some crazy shit.
I don’t know how that thing didn’t rip back apart
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
38,369
I didn't love the episode for the reasons covered but its really hard to argue with Brady/Guerrero's results, even if the flowery language as well as slow motion pictures of drops of water made it feel like an infomercial in spots.
 

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
20,004
Los Angeles, CA
I liked it more than I thought I would. It was interesting to hear a more reflective side of Gronk. And say what you will about Guerrero, but I find it hard to belive Brady plays with that hand without him. That was some crazy shit.
So you're saying he would have led the team to an AFC championship throwing lefty?
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
40,721
Hartford, CT
I didn't love the episode for the reasons covered but its really hard to argue with Brady/Guerrero's results, even if the flowery language as well as slow motion pictures of drops of water made it feel like an infomercial in spots.
I, for one, am partial to the incessant cuts to galloping horses, gathering storm clouds, and other creatures of the forest and hills.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
38,369
I, for one, am partial to the incessant cuts to galloping horses, gathering storm clouds, and other creatures of the forest and hills.
Hey! I never said anything about galloping horses. In all seriousness, I was waiting for Guerrero to start spitting ASMR bars at various points. Even if the methods are legit, the presentation just feels a bit icky.

BTW, I thought your take above was pretty spot on regarding Brady.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
12,824
Hey! I never said anything about galloping horses. In all seriousness, I was waiting for Guerrero to start spitting ASMR bars at various points. Even if the methods are legit, the presentation just feels a bit icky.

BTW, I thought your take above was pretty spot on regarding Brady.
I was actually pretty impressed that they keep things pretty above board and didn't dig into T12, methods, etc. It could have made the episode turn sideways real fast.