oj-made-in-america

One major city in America was left out of OJ: Made In America, because of a football game.

Unless you’ve been oblivious to any and all ESPN programming over the last few weeks, their landmark film achievement OJ: Made In America premiered on ABC Saturday night. Chronicling the rise, fall and in-between of O.J. Simpson, the five-part, seven hour documentary not only examines Simpson but uses him as a conduit for race relations in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 60s, how black consciousness was prevalent to many and also ignored by the general white public, the importance of a privileged superstar athlete and in some cases, the invention of reality television. Even that description may not do the film justice.

But, the fourth largest city in America didn’t get to watch and enjoy OJ: Made In America. All in the name of high school football. ABC affiliate KRTK in Houston had already established a contract with the Bayou Bowl, an all-star high school football game that showcased some of the best talent in the state before they headed off to college. Needless to say, few people were pleased in having to a) miss out on a monumental social media event in this documentary and b) be subjected to a high school football game in which the West beat the East 14-9. The stands at Rhodes Stadium in Katy, TX looked partially empty, especially for a Saturday night football game in Texas.

Mainly because everybody wanted to watch OJ.

Twitter users decided to storm KTRK’s mentions all night with reactions to being a significant documentary being pre-empted by a slightly meaningless football game. I say slightly because the players at least got scholarships worth up to $2,500 apiece.

Some of us (like yours truly) were able to find streams to catch the documentary and watch it live along with the rest of the country. If it feels like 1994 all over again, that’s because it sort of is. As Sean Pendergast alluded to, Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals with the Houston Rockets & New York Knicks occurred at the exact same time as the Bronco Chase. NBC decided to go for a split screen instead of just showing the game. The Rockets went on the lose Game 5 but win Games 6 & 7 to win the first professional sports title (non-AFL) in the history of the city.

Don’t worry Houstonians, you can catch the re-air of OJ: Made In America later today at 2 PM, just as you get out of church.

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