…and How it All Fell-Apart at the Last Minute.
So as many of you know, I have written for the NFL on FOX since 2003. A few years back FOX sports bought the idea of making a pilot where 4 guys would go around to tailgates and soak up the atmosphere. The main focus of the show was a friend and he pushed for me to be part of the writing cast and be one of the on-screen hosts. His manager, who also happened to be the producer of the show, has never been a big fan of mine, but he went with it. It was exciting and I felt my role was perfect for my talents.
The on-screen role would be for me to come up to people tailgating and stir up shit. Kind of be a contrarian, looking to push people’s buttons. Perfect! A role I was born to do, especially considering my sports knowledge. Since I was one of the 2 main writers, as well, we had a few meetings and everything was looking good. Our first tailgate we were going to hit was before an Arizona Cardinals game and I was stoked to be part of this project. 2 nights before I was supposed to fly out, I get a call from some bean counter at FOX telling me I would be paid for my efforts so far in the project and they needed some paper work done so they could get me my check. This sounded strange to me and I asked, Well why don’t I just fill it out at onsite? The bean counter responded with, Oh, I’m sorry. No one must have told you that they decided that they would no longer need your services as part of the project.
I gave him my info and sat there stunned. I never had any great desires in being a Hollywood star, but this project seemed right in my wheelhouse, so I was definitely deflated. That is just the way it works sometimes.
Later on I found out from my friend that I had come off to aggressive in my ideas with the producers. That is bullshit. I came strong with my ideas, but anyone who knows me realizes I am really supportive of others in any project I’m part of. What it came down to was the executive producer never was a fan of mine and he was able to get Brody Stevens to do the part, so I got the last-minute bump. If you get bounced for someone like Brody Stevens (The Hangover, Due Date, star of HBO show developed by Zach Galifianakis), you feel a little better about it. It still doesn’t take away the sting, though. I can’t tell you I would have been great in this role, but I do know that my persona is more likable to the type of people who were the target audience for this show than the granted very funny, but very weird and over the top narcissism of one Steven Brody Stevens.
I suppose you are curious, did the show get picked up? It did not. I don’t think it even aired. Who knows why that it is? Could have been the typical deal where the exec who greenlit it got canned and the new person didn’t want it for that reason alone. Maybe it just didn’t fit with the format of FOXSPORTS.net. Or maybe, as I hypothesize, it could never recover from the last minute loss of one Scott Long. Television history will never really know.