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October 25, 2007
Coach: Backyard Bowl TV 'outstanding'
by: BARRY LEWIS Tulsa World Sports Writer
Image by Robert S. Cross
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
Union kicker Tress Way (center) and his Union teammates celebrate after winning this year’s Backyard Bowl 43-42 in September. NFL Films’ one-hour feature on the Jenks-Union game will air at 7 p.m. Thursday on the Versus Network (Cox digital cable 251).
THURSDAYS HAVE been long known for "Must-See TV."
Fox has the World Series, CBS has "CSI," NBC has "ER," and ABC has "Grey's Anatomy." This Thursday, before tuning in those other programs, it would be well worth your time to watch the Versus Network's (Cox digital cable 251) must-see program -- NFL Films' one-hour presentation of September's Backyard Bowl game between Union and Jenks at 7 p.m.
It will open NFL Films' and Versus' weekly series of the country's "Greatest High School Football Rivalries," that will continue through November.
NFL Films gives the Backyard Bowl the same quality treatment it has for its award-winning Super Bowl films and "Inside the NFL" segments.
If only game highlights were shown, and there would have been plenty of those to fill up an hour, that would have alone made up for an interesting program. This was the greatest Backyard Bowl ever played. NFL Films, however, did so much more, led by senior producer James Weiner.
"It was outstanding," Union coach Kirk Fridrich said after watching an advance showing. "I was excited by the presentation. It represented the rivalry and city of Tulsa very well. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat, even if you know the outcome.
"NFL Films did this in a first class manner. James did an outstanding job. They didn't bring in their JV team."
Jenks and Union fans will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at their teams that most would never receive otherwise. Several players from each team are spotlighted.
"They did a great job with their production," said Jenks coach Allan Trimble, who watched the program twice on Tuesday. "It was so stunning because you didn't even realize they were there when they were filming.
"It was sure fun the way they told a great story. I enjoyed it and it put both teams in such a positive light."
Just as NFL Films does on NFL highlight films, radio calls from each team's broadcast are used on the key plays. Clips from the two other greatest Jenks-Union games also are included.
Viewers can not only gain insight on the Backyard Bowl classic played in September, but also pick up a few tidbits that can help them enjoy future games involving these teams this season, including a potential rematch in the Class 6A state final.
The Backyard Bowl was a classic this past September and so is NFL Films' presentation of it.
(Full disclosure: I was among many people interviewed for the program and a few brief comments of mine were included.)
Union's season-opening opponent, Canton (Ohio) McKinley, will be featured on the Nov. 8 program against the tradition-rich Massillon Tigers.
The Nov. 1 matchup features Michigan schools Rockford and Muskegon. On Nov. 15, there will be the Texas showdown between Plano and Plano East. The following two weeks will feature games in Florida and Maryland.
Williams sidelined: Booker T. Washington's John Williams, the state's best offensive lineman, is likely out for the season due to a knee injury, according to coach Antwain Jimmerson. Williams, sidelined for most of this season, has committed to Kansas.
"We were fortunate that we had enough film on him from his junior and senior years to show recruiters," Jimmerson said.
Forms needed: Tulsa World preseason basketball questionnaires were mailed to all state high schools last week. All coaches are urged to return the completed forms as soon as possible. Preseason rankings will be released in the High School Preview Section on Nov. 4.
For more information, contact Barry Lewis at (918) 581-8393 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.