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HBO Drops Trailer For Belichick & Saban Doc

“During the documentary, Belichick and Saban discuss philosophies on football and topics away from the field, including their relationship and annual coaching retreat.”

Brandon Contes

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Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, two coaching legends, are the subject of an upcoming documentary. On Monday, HBO Sports and NFL Films released a trailer for Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching.

The 90-minute documentary, profiling the relationship between the two coaching icons premieres Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 9PM ET/PT, exclusively on HBO. The documentary will also be made available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO partners’ streaming platforms.

“Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden – symbols of success not just in sports, but in life,” said Ross Ketover, Chief Executive of NFL Films in the press release. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football, but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.”

The football superpowers have long been friends, with a relationship beginning in 1982 at the United States Naval Academy where Saban worked as an assistant coach with Bill’s father, Steve Belichick. In 1991, Bill Belichick received his first NFL head coaching position with the Cleveland Browns and hired Nick Saban as his defensive coordinator.

During the documentary, Belichick and Saban discuss philosophies on football and topics away from the field, including their relationship and annual coaching retreat.

“Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have earned their rightful place in the pantheon of greatest coaches ever, across all sports, and this film intimately spotlights their woven history from Navy to Cleveland to now,” said Peter Nelson, EVP of HBO Sports. “It will capture for the first-time ever some of the most engaging and personal conversations held every year by the two most towering figures in the game today. We are excited to partner with NFL Films to tell this unique story of friendship and mentorship.”

The film features one-on-one interviews, candid conversations between the two coaches and behind the scenes access from the last three decades. Hall of Fame tight end and former Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart, Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels are among the film’s contributors. 

Belichick keeps his personality buttoned up when in the public eye, which makes documentaries that offer an inside look even more appealing. In 2018, shortly before Super Bowl LII, ESPN released a well-received 30 for 30 film depicting the relationship between Belichick and Hall-of-Fame head coach Bill Parcells. 

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Robert Griffin III Replaces Randy Moss on Monday Night Countdown

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program.

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Robert Griffin III
David Becker, Getty Images

With Monday Night Countdown set to lead into Thursday’s preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, ESPN announced their lineup for the show.

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program. Robert Griffin III will join Booger McFarland and Steve Young as the show’s main analysts.

They will be partnered with Suzy Kolber who returns for her sixth year as the show’s host and news breaker Adam Schefter.

It was reported in July that analyst Randy Moss would not be returning to the show, opting instead to focus solely on Sunday Night Countdown.

The first regular season action featuring Monday Night Countdown will be on Monday, September 12 when the Seahawks play the Denver Broncos.

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Sports TV News

Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

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The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

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Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith Says He Wants Mike Francesa on First Take

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Mike Francesa

Stephen A. Smith seems to be looking to debate every major media personality with big opinions and he has set his eyes on Mike Francesa.

Smith was on First Take on Wednesday with weekly guest Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and chastising Russo for being upset with Aaron Rodgers calling out his wide receivers. That’s when Smith brought up the former WFAN tandem of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“The thing that disappoints me about you,” Smith said to Russo, “you’re upset with honesty. You are not only hosting your own radio show, you have your own channel.”

Smith continued, “You are one of the pioneers if not THE pioneer with Mike Francesa, who, by the way, I got to get him on this show one day too, with you. You understand what I’m saying? I mean it would be my honor to have Mike Francesa too.”

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

Smith returned once more with “I ain’t scared. I’m never gonna beat him, but I’ll try, damn it.”

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