ESPN has announced that thanks to the success of its most recent “season” of 30 for 30, the worldwide leader in sports will debut another brand new addition to its Peabody award winning series next month. On Saturday, December 14th, ESPN will debut Youngstown Boys. The film, directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, Youngstown Boys is a study on class and power dynamics in the world of college sports. It studies the subject by following former elite running back Maurice Clarett and former star head coach Jim Tressel. Both figures came from the city of Youngstown, Ohio. Tressel rose to fame when he turned around the struggling football program at Youngstown State University. And then in 2002, Tressel was coaching the Ohio State University football team. Clarett happened to be on the team that season. The pairing helped lead the Buckeyes to the university’s first national championship in over thirty years.
Things didn’t stay well long for Clarett. Clarett would end up being suspended from college football soon thereafter, and would eventually end up behind bars. Tressel would go on to serve another eight years at OSU before his career there ended in scandal. Both men were interviewed for this film, as were Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown and former OSU standout QB Craig Krenzel.
Co-director Jeff Zimbalist shared his thoughts on the movie in a recent interview, explaining that “at its core, the story of Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel is about fathers and sons.” He added that “in addition to their record-breaking exploits on the playing field and involvement in two of college football’s biggest backroom scandals, we were drawn to the layered saga of ‘The Senator’ and ‘The Beast’ because it transcends sport. In examining the interconnected rise and downfall of these two men from opposite sides of the Youngstown tracks, we discovered the deep role that family plays in any quest for greatness.”
Youngstown Boys will premiere Saturday, December 14th at 9pm ET on ESPN. More information on this and other films from ESPN’s 30 for 30 is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30, http://twitter.com/30for30 and http://espn.go.com/30for30. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.