Barry Zito

HBO 24/7 series we’d like to see

Every once in a while, I start on a post that’s what those in the editorial business call “evergreen,” meaning it’ll stay relevant longer than 98% of my posts, which only matter for an hour or two (well, the good posts, anyway). The problem is, I’m a writer, which means procrastination is in my blood. So usually with these evergreen posts, I start them and save them for later, meaning they usually never get finished.

Along with an updated version of my KNBR show rankings (which has been in the can for about nine months now), this is one of those posts. Until today, when I found out that Showtime has already stolen one of my ideas, as they’re getting ready for a possible 24/7 style documentary series about the San Francisco Giants. Pretty damn cool, but now I feel like I have to get this post out there before the premium cable channels beat me to the punch.

Usually punching is the basis of HBO’s tremendous “24/7” series, as it’s been a great promotional tool for fights involving guys like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as some of the best TV you’ll see. Put it this way: my wife, who didn’t just ignore boxing but was actually slightly repulsed by the idea, gobbles up the 24/7’s about boxing like she eats Twizzlers (for my money, the worst candy in the world … she loves them, meaning that her favorite candy is something I can’t share with her, which is terrible).

People wondered if a 24/7 about hockey would work, and it was awesome. Just hearing the refs swear as much as they do was worth the price of our HBO subscription this month. “Hard Knocks” is always strong, too, although some foot fetish swingers club footage would have made last season a little more authentic. Even boring-ass Jimmy Johnson’s show was pretty good, although it was certainly the weakest of the 24/7’s. Here are some other 24/7 subjects we’d like to suggest.

1. San Francisco Giants

Damnit, I’m going to put them here even though Showtime already looks like they’re on the case. Just the idea of being able to watch Brian Wilson’s antics is enough, but Tim Lincecum uncensored? In terms of f-bombs you’d have to think he’d give Bruce Boudreau a run for his money. And the comedic potential of Barry Zito playing John Mayer tunes on his guitar while taking himself a little too seriously is through the roof.

2. Boston Celtics

Those who know me know I’m not a Celtics fan. At all. But the premium channels missed out when they didn’t capture Shaq, Nate Robinson and Glen Davis messing around, Rajon Rondo pouting and giving dirty looks to everybody, KG screaming at no one in particular, and Doc Rivers losing his voice every day. Seriously, Doc Rivers is like the Bill Clinton of coaching. He needs a humidifier in his bedroom or something.

3. Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer

Two of the top tennis players of all time (maybe THE top two guys of all time), two completely different personalities, and barely anybody in this country cares. Well, not many Americans care about hockey either, and the Penguins/Capitals show ruled. A show that not only focuses on both players and shows what it’s like backstage at Wimbledon at the same time probably wouldn’t suck.

4. Tiger Woods

This one would earn huge ratings for obvious reasons, and it would be perfect for his image. Unfortunately his handlers think it’s a better idea to resurrect out-of-context ramblings from his dead father for Nike commercials, so it’s doubtful Tiger would ever do this.

5. Oakland Raiders

Talk about a team that would never do this. The Raiders are naturally distrustful of anyone who knows how to use a computer, and are abnormally secretive for a professional sports franchise. However, could anything be more fascinating than to see how Al Davis actually goes about business in Alameda and/or Napa? Writers always say how Al is so much fun to chat after the cameras have been turned off; it’s probable that he’d shock viewers with how “with it” he actually is in regards to his thoughts on football.

6. Any good English Premier League Team

It doesn’t matter if it’s Man U., Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal … although since Man U. is the most famous team in this country, and Wayne Rooney’s hooker exploits would probably make for outstanding television, they’d probably be the choice. Whatever the team, to get an inside look at the crazy world of soccer football in England, along with the amazing cinematography we’ve come to expect from these documentaries, would be incredible. Of course with some of the Brits’ accents they’d have to run subtitles like they do on The Real World after the castmates get too drunk, but it would definitely be worth it.

7. The Kentucky Derby

It would be beautiful to watch, and possibly tear-jerking at the same time (if a horse got injured and had to be put down). However, if we saw the inner world of horse racing there might be a huge outcry over the treatment of the animals (and the eating disorders of the jockeys). But maybe not, and horse racing needs to find some way to gain popularity other than hoping for the first Triple Crown in over 30 years.

Subjects that don’t make the cut:

– Duke/UNC (ESPN has done this to death, and HBO’s hour-long documentary on the subject would mean a series starring these two teams would probably be overkill)

– Red Sox/Yankees (another subject ESPN has absolutely squeezed the life out of)

– UFC fighters (watch SpikeTV if you’re curious)

– UConn Lady Huskies (while the logistics of how Geno Auriemma talks to the players in the locker room would be interesting, he’d be the only attraction since women’s basketball players are way too polite for a show like this)

– Mavericks Surf Contest (not enough conflict unless someone got badly hurt or died, and that wouldn’t exactly be uplifting television)

– Bowling (bowling movies: awesome … bowling on TV: Ambien)

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