Starting in January, Wolverine fans will get an inside look at the 2017 season, as the Michigan football program announced a partnership with Amazon Prime on Tuesday — geared toward creating an eight-episode documentary series about how Team 138 operates during the season.
The documentary will be released on Amazon Prime following the end of the season, and is part of a partnership between Michigan, Amazon, The Montag Group and Big Ten Network.
The show will document the lives of the Michigan players, coaches and staff during the season — both at home and on the road — and also follow the student-athletes into the classroom.
“We are proud to partner with Amazon Prime Video in documenting our University of Michigan student-athletes’ daily experiences and the lifelong lessons learned both on the football field and in the classroom,” said Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh in the press release. “We welcome judgement! We embrace this opportunity to showcase our 2017 University of Michigan football team to a vast audience around the world.”
The series will likely bear resemblance to documentaries like Last Chance U and Hard Knocks that give a behind-the-scenes peek at college and professional football teams. Last Chance U, a docu-series on Netflix, follows the lives of various college athletes that have had off-the-field issues. Those athletes wound up at East Mississippi Community College, where they were given another shot at playing football.
The Netflix show is popular among the Michigan football team.
Sophomore safety Josh Metellus watches Last Chance U with some of his teammates, and at one point he thought to himself that making a documentary would be a good thing for someone to do about their own football team here in Michigan.
His wish came true, and now he’s got a show of his own. The cameras have been following him and the other Wolverines around campus — to practice, team meetings, classes and anywhere else. Constantly having a camera crew on his tail could seem distracting, but Metellus noted that it’s nothing he isn’t used to.
“We got people following us around every day whether or not there’s cameras,” Metellus said.
The camera crew also only comes three days a week, and Metellus described it as “nothing too serious.”
With a year under his belt, Metellus has gotten used to the media attention. The freshmen on the team, though, are the ones relishing the newfound fame.
“You can just tell by all the videos we have that (freshmen) post from the Michigan twitter page,” Metellus said. “They love the camera — mostly the offensive players. They just love being the flashy type of guys. You know, on defense, we don’t really get all that recognition, because we play defense. The offense likes to take it.”
So far, the cameras have been following around “the guys who get the ball,” according to fifth-year senior Henry Poggi.
That includes most of the players you would usually hear about — guys like redshirt junior quarterback Wilton Speight and freshman wide receiver Tarik Black.
For Poggi, not so much.
“I’d be surprised if they featured me,” Poggi joked.
Poggi, a self-proclaimed fan of MTV’s Real World, admitted that the Michigan football documentary would not be including any major confessions like the hit reality show used to.
“Much to the viewers’ dismay,” he laughed.
Nonetheless, he and others felt that the series could be helpful to the program by giving fans an inside look at the inner-workings of the Michigan football team.
It will certainly pay dividends on the recruiting front, but sophomore offensive lineman Ben Bredeson had his own personal reasons for liking the show.
“It’s going to help answer a lot of questions from Mom and Dad who always want to know what’s going on every day,” Bredeson said with a grin. “I’ll just tell them to watch, and we’ll be good.”