ESPN Films' 30 for 30 Series Continues with YEAR OF THE SCAB, Today
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, ESPN Films' award-winning 30 FOR 30 documentary series will continue with a feature-length film on the group of men who replaced the Washington Redskins team during the 1987 NFL players strike. "Year of the Scab," directed by John Dorsey, will premiere at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN followed by a 30 FOR 30 Short, "Strike Team," at 9:30 p.m. ET. The 25-minute short film directed by Willie Ebersol tells the incredible story of a sting operation set up by a division of the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C., to lure fugitives in by telling them they won free Redskins tickets.
"Year of the Scab," which has screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York as well as closing night at AFI Docs in D.C., looks at the men who served as replacements for the Redskins in 1987 when NFL players went on strike to gain bargaining power in their struggle with the team owners. Crossing the picket line to play in the NFL changed their lives, but not in the way they'd expected or hoped. For most of them, what was billed as THE LAST SHOT at a dream became the final blow to their careers. This group, who were called "scabs," braved ridicule and threats of violence for one last chance at glory.
Now 30 years later, director John Dorsey introduces viewers to some of these players and their stories, as well as the men whose jobs they took and other participants in one of sports' strangest chapters. The replacement squad won all three games before the strike ended, and the Redskins went on to win the SUPER BOWL that season. Yet most of the "scabs" were watching from home as the team they had helped get to the playoffs won the biggest game of the year. "Year of the Scab" is produced by Ten100 in association with Leftfield Pictures. Trailer: http://es.pn/2wrfRQT
"In 1987, a bunch of NOBODIES were offered a second shot a dream they thought had died," said director John Dorsey. "What they didn't know was that their golden ticket would become a scarlet letter. For 30 years, an experience that should have been a badge of honor has been the scab that never healed, and I hope that through this film their story will be given the recognition it deserves."
Directly following will be the premiere of 30 FOR 30 Short "Strike Team," which chronicles the unbelievable true story of how U.S. Marshals pulled off the biggest sting operation in their history. On December 15, 1985, the Washington Redskins hosted the Cincinnati Bengals at RFK Stadium. But they weren't the only D.C. team with a lot at stake that day. A division of the U.S. Marshals Service known as FIST-Fugitive Investigative Strike Team-set up an elaborate sting operation to lure area criminals to the Washington Convention Center to pick up two free tickets on the morning of that Redskins game. "Strike Team" is executive produced by Charlie Ebersol.
Director Willie Ebersol retells the story of the operation, from the planning stages when it was met with skepticism, through the comical dress rehearsal, and on to its suspenseful execution. All in all, more than 100 fugitives were arrested that day without a shot being fired.
"It's so rare for a documentary to actually place an audience inside an event from over 30 years ago," said Willie Ebersol, director. "But after discovering a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage, we were able to give viewers a front row seat to this fun and wild operation, from conception to execution, making sure to not miss a single epic 80's mustache along the way."
He added, "'Strike Team' gives a truly behind-the-scenes look into the most elaborate, can't-believe-it-actually-happened sting in U.S. law enforcement history - all without ever breaking tension or era by cutting away to interviews."