The 5 Reasons Why ESPN Had To Pull Playmakers: Because It Predicted The Future

The fear of the unknown is very real. The fear of the truth is something Jack Nicholson told us that we couldn’t handle. When ESPN decided to bless the masses with its own original drama series titled “Playmakers,” it became a little too real. Playmakers, now 10 years old, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the Cougars, a fictional professional football team located in Parts Unknown, USA. With 11 episodes laid down for the first season, Playmakers would become the highest rated show on ESPN outside of Saturday college football and Sunday Night Football, and a large segment of sports fans were hooked …

… and that’s when the National Football League said enough was enough.

What ESPN had done was put America on notice to what could be the true reality that takes place behind the doors of an NFL locker room. Things that were only talked about behind closed doors, at barbershops or during late-night drinking sessions were now being broadcasted into millions and millions of homes with cable. Eyes were opened, and seeing this vivid of a portrayal only opened up the dialogue for more questions. The NFL wasn’t having any of that, and with a polite (egregious) nudge, Playmakers was eviscerated, never to be seen again.

However, while many of you were popping fireworks, drinking delicious alcoholic beverages and grilling the fine delicacy which is animal flesh, I began preparing for my fantasy football mock drafts and watched all 11 episodes of Playmakers during the four-day weekend. And guess what, there are five things that took place in the show 10 years ago that actually happened in real life. Here are the five reasons why the NFL was so afraid of ESPN’s Playmakers — because it predicted the future.

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21 Replies to “The 5 Reasons Why ESPN Had To Pull Playmakers: Because It Predicted The Future”

  1. Mannnnnn, what a post. This show was everything and then some my senior year in high school.

    Between this and The Chappelle show, I never missed an episode.

  2. Awesome write-up!!! And I also remember this series, watched all of them and was not surprised when the NFL pulled it. I will be posting this for our readers. Would it be OK to take an excerpt and link back to your site?

  3. This show was too real for TV, I remember saying the league is gonna pull the plug on one of the best shows ever.
    Dope post G.

  4. Man, you really brought out the Ghost of Football past. It also brought us Luther Hawkins. Who reminds me of Michael Vick then and RGIII/Colin Kapernick now. Then years later “The Game” came out. In my conspiracy theorist mind, I think ESPN killed it so Ms. Brock Akil can water it down to relationship with football wives, giving Shaunie O’Neal an idea, and thus leaving us with the reality show”Basketball Wives.”

    …I really miss “Playmakers.” That show and “The Wire” will always be in my top five shows.

  5. Absolutely loved Playmakers. Launched my love for sports dramas/movies. Thanks for the heads up about it being on YT. I know what I’ll be watching this weekend.

  6. Brah! This post is spot on.

    I remember around the time of this show, I was writing a small profile on a sports agent down here in Atlanta. The story was about him and his career, but during the interview, I asked him if Playmakers was real…you know, how much was fact, how much was fiction. He was like “not at all…thats TV man, they have to sensationalize everything, its just entertainment.”

    Then when the interview was over with, he asked “yo, is the recorder off?” I was like “yeah, whats up”…maaan every bit of his UCLA masters degree left and every bit of his Compton came out and he was like “maaaaan, that show realthanamuthafucka man. all that shit! the drugs, the gay shit, n—– cheatin on they wives and doing PSAs the next day, n—– catching cases, all that shit realthanamuthafucka. they might get somebody hurt doing that show.”

  7. Honestly, despite the serious tones they discussed in the show, Playmakers was one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. I thought it was what Any Given Sunday should have been (I felt like it could have been better).

  8. As to point #1, a professional football player has come out of the closet. He has gotten a lot of attention even though he was a low draft pick.

  9. They took that video down . .. I always wondered what happened to that show. I kinda felt that it was getting to close for comfort for the NFL and they pressured ESPN to end it. I was a HUGE fan. I was interested in the story line of the defensive player #60. . .I can’t remember his name) who had gained so much weight that it was messing with his health . .but in his contract, if he didn’t remain at a certain weight class his $$ would be effected. One of the BEST athletic shows on television. The sad part is, people already know the dirtiness that goes on behind closed doors in the NFL. Players are commodity – Not humans.

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