Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friends of Blog Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben (of Cocaine Cowboys fame) are now coming out with the U, which will air on ESPN December 9. Barry Jackson has a piece on the documentary today. Apparently, UM didn't cooperate... I never understand that. The movie is going to get made; you might as well cooperate. From Jackson:
Inside a Miami Beach office that feels like a not-too-reverential Hurricanes shrine, the finishing touches are being applied to the documentary of record on the University of Miami football program.
Stacks of old newspaper clippings and UM media guides sit atop a table. A Ray Lewis action figure poses menacingly on a desk, and a stuffed ``Ibis'' lurks across the room. A UM pin cushion and Canes pillow are propped on the couch.
Director Billy Corben and producer Alfred Spellman aren't only accomplished filmmakers -- they're also former UM students. Corben believes Canes fans will be pleased when their two-hour documentary, The U, airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 12 on ESPN, in a high-profile slot following the Heisman Trophy show.
``For Canes fans, this will be a reminder of what they loved about this team. For Canes haters, this will be a reminder of what they hated about this team,'' said Corben, who has crafted six films with Spellman, most notably Cocaine Cowboys. ``I'm also hoping the haters might walk away with some passing appreciation of what the team brought to the table in terms of their pop culture contributions, the merger of sports and entertainment, the style of game played.
``The criticism of the team has been well-documented. We certainly review it. But this is really a Canes talk-back, a Canes rebuttal kind of piece. There's no dearth of incredible highlights of both sensational plays and over-the-top celebrations.''
UM WON'T PARTICIPATE
But Corben said UM refused to participate and would not allow the filmmakers to interview coach Randy Shannon, former athletic director Paul Dee or former president Tad Foote, though old sound bites from Foote appear in the film. According to Corben, former coach Dennis Erickson and several former Hurricanes players said they disregarded UM's request that they not grant interviews.
``It upset me to no end,'' Corben said of UM's resistance. ``I felt disrespected and unappreciated by my alma mater. Early on, [UM athletic department spokesman] Mark Pray told me, `You should rethink even doing this project.' It was a display of rudeness, disrespect and ignorance. UM has a persecution complex about that era.'' As a result, Corben said he resigned from UM's Citizens Board, which supports the university's philanthropic efforts and promotes UM's programs.
Jackie Menendez, UM's vice president/communications, said the school declined to allow the interviews or participate in the project because Corben wasn't willing to allow UM officials to read the script in advance. Corben said he never was asked for a script -- ``a documentary doesn't have a script'' -- but that he sent UM a treatment, which is a two-page synopsis of the project.
When Devin Hester heard that UM wasn't cooperating, this was his reaction, showing his Bear/bare behind.
The movie should be great. I'm looking forward to it. Luke Campbell has the title track:
In other news, a Miami pastor was convicted before Judge Huck yesterday after a lengthy trial. He was convicted of committing $7 million in fraud.
Rothstein was apparently paying his lawyers and staff with ponzi proceeds. This keeps getting uglier and uglier. Bob Norman has pics of his house and lots of other news.
An agent who was kidnapped in Colombia has been released:
About three hours later, ``Fat Man'' returned to the cabin with one of his men, who told Ortiz that they knew he was a federal agent.
They were visibly nervous, Ortiz told the FBI.
The man removed Ortiz's handcuffs, repeatedly saying, ``Our apologies, brother.''
Once his hands were free, Ortiz saw that his apologetic guard carried a revolver in a belt holster and asked him for it. The man surrendered it.
Ortiz also asked for a car, a demand accepted by his kidnappers. One of them drove him to the city.
Ortiz arrived on his own at the hotel, where a contingent of Colombian police officers and U.S. agents were waiting for him so they could take him immediately to Bogotá.