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The Harsh Reality of Football Stardom

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         Views: 1657
2009-05-28 07:23:17     
Article by Tom Macintosh

The advent of reality TV has meant that just about every thing that can be filmed and dished out on cable and satellite TV has been both duly filmed and duly dished out. We've seen catty wanna-be models trying to make it big, small time chefs cooking up big time dishes and equally mammoth sized on set brouhahas; there have been millionaire dollar housewives, intrepid globe trotting travelers, and struggling singers trying to hit the high note; we've seen fourth rate celebrities duke it out for a little time in the limelight, spoiled teenaged girls gallivanting around town shopping and throwing lavish parties, sports stars trying out a different pair of shoes and not finding out that some things aren't meant to change, celebrity personalities being shuffled off to suburbia, trying to figure out what living normally is like, the list goes on and on. Reality TV has been a cash cow for the entertainment industry. Viewers love it. It's impossible not to catch at least two reality shows at any given hour while flipping across the satellite TV channels.

And now there's a new reality show for sports fanatics. 4th and Long, produced by the testosterone fueled Spike TV, is about football players who want to make it big of course. Twelve contestants battle it out to win a trip to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp, and perhaps have a go at making the team. These guys are pretty good, but they never got their big break, with 4th and Long they finally get their chance. This isn't the NFL Sunday Ticket. The show is actually pretty tough. During the premiere episode, the main theme seems to be vomit. The plays tend to retch over and over again. Although it's not a pretty sight, the show manages to be entertaining in its own right.

As with other reality series, one player is cut per episode after a trial of some sort. Michael Irvin, former wide receiver and Hall of Famer for the Dallas Cowboys hosts the show. He barks out commands at the chosen 12, trying to drill within them an even deeper desire to win. The players have to take part in some rough drills-running back and forth across the football field, over and over again. It's rigorous and the players' emptied stomachs will make you cringe in disgust and perhaps sympathy too. Despite appearances the contestants have had their share of heavy handed training in the past. They've all played in college and have participated in some grueling drills in their own time.

Joe Avezzano, former coach and Bill Bates, former All-Pro Cowboy make appearances on the show, serving as the contestants' coaches. They deliver motivational speeches, expanding on the merits of endurance and perfection. The show also features a handful of guest appearances from other sports stars and media personalities. Overall, 4th and Long does entertain. For football fans, it's a great look at what it takes to make it to the big leagues. Obviously though, this show isn't to be watched when you're eating dinner or if you intend on eating dinner.

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