In the two decades I’ve been in this business, the two athletes I have wanted to profile more than any other, were tennis legend Pete Sampras, and All-Pro football player, James Harrison. Why? Because they’ve been depicted as one dimensionally as any superstars I’ve ever seen. I was fortunate to have profiled Sampras several times during the five years I covered the U.S. Open (1996-2000). Once he let you in (which wasn’t easy), his guard dropped and he became quite human. The last time I interviewed Sampras was for 90-minutes on the day he retired from the sport. It was fascinating watching this man exhale and reflect.
I admire people who work hard and don’t court the media, so they will be liked, in order sell merchandize to the American public. I also admire people in the spotlight who aren’t afraid to speak their mind. People like Jim Brown. The James Harrison I’ve hung out with is guarded (for good reason), thoughtful, informed, sensitive and has a GREAT sense of humor. This scene will not be in “The United States of Football,” but gives you and better idea of this private man behind his public mask.
Directed by Sean Pamphilon & Editied by Justin Bergeron
Over the past two years, director Sean Pamphilon has shot more then 300 hours of footage (pee-wee's to the pro's) and traveled thousands of miles to tell the story of The United States of Football. Not all of the more then 60 interview subjects made it into the film. Here in Gems from the Cutting Room Floor we will show you outtakes from the film as well as short stories cut exclusively for the website.
SP Philms is an independent film company specializing in sports documentaries. Director Sean Pamphilon, with his fresh first-person style of journalism, is able to get to the essence of each subject and their story in a way that few others are able to do. This is why our film, The United States of Football, is setting the trend on this issue and our film-making setting the standard in journalistic documentary.
Sean Pamphilon is an award-winning filmmaker (“playing with RAGE”) and Emmy winning documentary producer (HBO’s boxing series “Legendary Nights”) with nearly twenty years of production experience in sports television.Read more »