TROPHY KIDS No Child Left Behind* *unless you’re second string.

Age 3
No Child Left Behind*
*unless you’re second string.
Youth sports isnʼt just orange slices and all-star
trophies anymore. Itʼs 14-year-olds who enter
high school with a decade of football experience,
9-year-olds with private pitching coaches, 5-yearolds competing for world golf championships,
and toddlers made from sperm donated (for a
fee) by elite college athletes. Itʼs a year-round
“travel team” in every community—and parents
hunting for college athletic scholarships from the
moment their kid slips on a uniform. In short, a
deeply hopeful, if ambitious and often desperate
landscape organized around the principle of
identifying and delivering the next generation of
Much as Bigger, Stronger, Faster explored Americaʼs love-hate affair with
anabolic steroids and challenged our notions about the drugs that build
muscle, TROPHY KIDS is a documentary film that will forever change the
way we look at a culture that has forgotten athletes such as once-heeded
cautionary tale of Todd Marinovich.
Groomed from birth to be an NFL
quarterback, Marinovich eventually made
it to the highest level of Americaʼs favorite
game, as a first-round draft pick, only to
wash out of the league prematurely in
haze of drugs and bad decisions… a
magnificent, manufactured athlete who
had never been fully formed as a man.
Now a father and still dealing with
addiction and life out of the spotlight, how
does Todd feel about his father Marv who
had him doing Russian Stretching
Techniques in his crib? And how does he
feel about Marv hiring a Russian Shotputter to have his second child Mikail, who
failed to even get a scholarship to
It will also explore the
flip-side. America has
a 66% overweight
population and itʼs a
growing problem. Just
ask Michelle Obama
who runs the first ladyʼs
Letʼs Move campaign
aimed at getting kids to
exercise everyday.
The obesity rate has
been skyrocketing in
America despite every
other infomercial on TV
for a weight loss product. We are the fattest nation in the world and you
can thank the internet, cell phones, video games, social media…and
parents that babysit their children with technology. So whatʼs wrong with
kids playing sports…Nothing! Itʼs when the parents get involved that
things get sticky. Just ask Reggie Bush.
Reggie Bush was the first athlete in history
to return his Heisman Trophy because of
allegations that his parents accepted a new
The Truth is that Youth Sport
is one of the most important
institutions in America, but do
we take it too seriously? In
reality only half of the kids
in America will play high
school sports. Of that only
1 in 28 will every play
beyond high school and
only 1 in 75 of that number
will receive scholarships…
the chance of playing in
any professional sport is 1 in 13,333 and that includes Bowling.
Of the 3 major sports Football,
Basketball, and Baseball, did you ever
think how much of it could be genetic?
At the top of their games are Peyton
and Eli Manning, son of ten year NFL
veteran Archie Manning. Then thereʼs
Kobe Bryant. His dad was 6ʼ9” and
played 7 seasons in the NBA and
another 7 seasons in Europe before
moving on to coaching. If thatʼs not
enough, letʼs look at the greatest home
run hitter and arguably one of the best
baseball players of all time, Barry
Bonds. His father Bobby was a legend
on the Giants. Did performanceenhancing drugs help him hit home
runs? Probably, but itʼs proven that
genetics and hard work played a much
bigger role.
Heir Jordan? Michael Jordanʼs son
Jeffery quit playing Basketball after his
career fizzled out.
In the case of Jeffery Jordan, nobodyʼs robbing
each other for his sneakers; he topped out at 6ʼ1”
and most likely got his genes from his mother. Itʼs
a 50-50 proposition and even then, there is no
guarantee of greatness. The cream will always
rise to the top in sports. Michael Jordan was cut
from his high school basketball team and Lebron
James didnʼt touch a basketball until he was 9.
There is no scientific proof that trying to teach a
kid to catch, throw, or shoot at a young age has
any significant benefit in the battle of Genetics.
Most kids motor skills donʼt
develop fully until they are almost 12 years old
and those skills improve until they reach 19.
There are shining examples like Tiger Woods, that say maybe we should
get our kids into a given sport at a young age. Tigerʼs father Earl cut a set
of golf clubs in half and had his son putting on
the Mike Douglas show at age 3, but at what
cost has it come to the way he handles his
personal life. Many people think that Tigerʼs
influence on youth sports has been nothing but
negative, encouraging parents to believe that
their kid may be the chosen one.
The goal of the film is to strike a balance
between the advantages of being a
physically fit child and the disadvantages of
kids forced by howling mad soccer dads to
score a goal or go to bed without dinner.
Directed by Bigger, Stronger, Faster filmmaker
Chris Bell, the documentary will draw upon
reporting and framework of Game On: The All-American Race to Make
Champions of Our Children, the 2008 Sports Education Book of the Year,
authored by ESPNʼs Emmy-award winning reporter Tom Farrey.
Bell and his best friend Leland Anderson, a 6ʼ7” blue chip athlete and
basketball coach will navigate the topic and talk to the parents, the kids, the
organizers, the sponsors, etc. in order to determine how weʼve gotten so
obsessed with our kids winning trophies and how that has become just as
important or more important than good grades and behavior. Leland is
currently coaching a kid whoʼs mother is holding him back in 8th grade so
she can “put some weight on him and get him into a better high school.”
And these conversations happened right in front of us, on camera.
The film will attack the issue from all angles, but ultimately itʼs the Parents,
Kids, and Coaches that will make this film personal.
Like the imprisoned father of an inline skater who
injected his son Corey Gahan with anabolic
steroids from age 11.
The kid who is embarrassed by his father and
wants nothing to do with him, so much that heʼs
quit his 10-year golf career and Jackson Hue is
only 11.
Coach Leland Andersonʼs own personal journey:
a kid with a dream, who played travel ball, was a
star in high school, recruited by Michigan, had to
transfer to Providence to avoid an investigation at
the school, and ultimately played oversees. Weʼll
see the physical and mental impact that this game
of strategy has had on Leland and his family. Now
as a coach, he can see it from the other side and
heʼs ready to blow it wide open.
Corey was injected with steroids and
hgh by his father since he was 12 to
be a champion inline skater, a sport
that has no professional division.
“Recruiting starts in high school. Most kids that I coach don’t play
for the school that they are legally supposed to go to. They get a
fake address from a friend of the program and they travel to school.
Anyone that tells you that high schools don’t recruit is full of shit.
On the prep school level it’s much worse, but nobody can really do
anything about it because it’s private. How can a kid play at
Crossroads in Santa Monica that can’t score high enough to get in?
Simple, score enough baskets.” - Leland Anderson
Hereʼs a few mind blowing facts:
FACT: Harvard gets 3,000 kids with perfect SAT scores every year,
they can only accept half. Theyʼve never had a Hockey Player with a
Perfect SAT Score. Because of Title 9 which gives equal opportunity
to boys and girls, The chances of a girls hockey scholarship, 1 in 11.
The chance for a boys or girls basketball scholarship 1 in 111 of all
kids that make the team in high school.
FACT: In 1992 the Non-Profit NCAA gave out $377,000,000 dollars in
scholarship money, by 2006 they gave out $1,500,000,000. Because of
Title 9, Division 1 Basketball and Football Teams arenʼt taxed. So why
not throw a few dollars to Girls Field Hockey if itʼs going to keep
millions of dollars in revenue for the university.
FACT: The AYSO is the foundation of American Soccer and is the
biggest youth sports organization in the world with 650,000 players
every year. Yet America has never won a World Cup.
FACT: After having a tendon
removed from one part of the
body and transplanted to
another Tommy John pitched
successfully for the Yankees
for 14 more seasons and
pitched better and faster. In a
three-year span from 2004 to
2007 Renowned Sports
Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. James
Andrews performed the
surgery on 588 pitchers, 146 of
whom were high school or
youth league players — a
seven-fold increase from the
previous three years.
THE Filmʼs STRUCTURE The film will begin
before the inception
of a child at Age 0.
Bell will start at the
worldʼs largest sperm
bank, California
Cryobank in Santa
Monica. It has in
recent years sought
and sold the seed of
current and former
college athletes. As
reported in Game
On, football and
other jocks at USC
and UCLA can earn
up to $900 a month
at the local
“masturbatorium,” as Cryobank founder Cappy Rothman calls the
provocatively wallpapered rooms where donors go to give. The sperm of
one former tight end, donor No. 3448, has produced at least 16 children
and is now sold out in the catalog. The Cryobank is eager to recruit more
athletes; at the same time, the company claims to be very selective about
who is accepted into the program. So what are the requirements to give
sperm? What achievements must you have in order to be a candidate…
and most of all find out if the people doing this have any ethical debate in
their heads with this. People believing in the dream of Earl Woods are
thinking, if Earl can turn Tiger into a champion, maybe I can get my kid into:
Gymnastics, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Wrestling or how about taping a
racquet to your kids hand like Andre Agassiʼs Dad so he could excel at
The film will move in time from
Zero to Hero and show the
making of a modern athlete as
well as the impact that pushing
our kids is having on society.
Pundits who argue the steroid
debate say that you should only
play with what God gave you,
why should we expect any
different from our children when
the odds are maybe they arenʼt
that talented?
Is if fair to tell a child to mimic
their favorite athletes to
become those athletes? Weʼll
explore kids whoʼs parents think
they have chosen the right path
for their children.
Coach Leland Anderson asks
“Is it fair to tell a kid to do the
same things that famous
professional athletes did? Is it fair to tell a kid
to workout like Reggie Bush or shoot as much
as Kobe Bryant? Thatʼs not going to make you
any better if you canʼt walk and chew gum at
the same time. Thereʼs no amount of dribbling
drills thatʼll make you as good as Derrick Rose.
Youʼre kid is a fat jerk and uncoachable, deal
with it.”
“I have parents that are keeping their kids in 8th
grade and telling them to fail in school because
theyʼll get an extra year of eligibility. I have a
dad who paid the high school coach $10,000 to
get his kid on varsity as a Sophomore, it took
Andre Agassi
age 7
another $10,000 to start him,
but when the team started
losing he sat the bench. You
want to see a dad go wild?”
This documentary aims to ask
and answer many of the
questions surrounding this
dilemma: It covers numerous
sports, it digs into why we as
parents and coaches feel the
need for our children to achieve physical greatness.
Is it parents living vicariously through their children?
Are we trying to make up for the athletic feats
that we couldnʼt achieve? Is it status? Weʼll
leave no stone unturned as we explore this
competitive atmosphere.
Dominique Dawes, 5 years old
autographed picture?
The film will look at the San Diego Times ranking
of the top 100 Basketball players in the country.
This list has become so crucial in the career of a
young ball player, but the kids are 12 years old.
Whoʼs making these lists? And is it fair to judge
a child at 12 years old? The amount of pressure
on an amateur basketball player has become so
intense and itʼs all being driven by your favorite
sneaker company...Nike, Reebok, Adidas need
people to perform or they canʼt sell sneakers to
the next generation. Sonny Vacarro has made a
business by finding guys like Lebron, Kobe, and
14 year old Tracy Austin, the
yes Michael Jordan. Heʼs considered “The
person to grace the cover
Godfather” of the Sneaker industry. Sonny has set youngest
of SI.
off several major sneaker wars all aimed at making
millions of dollars for sneaker companies and
offering inner city kids a chance to make their
dreams come true. Weʼll explore Sonnyʼs passion for the game and his
impact on the entire sports world.
The sneaker companies are making deals to
promote these youth events and these kids arenʼt
allowed to cash in. Then they get to college and
it gets even worse. Which brings us to the NCAA.
The 8 billion dollar College Sports business relies
on having new athletes. The athletes that play
football and basketball account for 90% of the
profit, yet the athletes can't be paid. This dispute
has raged on for so long, yet has never been
answered. The hypocrisy of the NCAA has never
really been disputed. This film will challenge the
NCAA to provide answers and raise awareness that
will hopefully help the NCAA change some of their
Sonny Vacarro battles USC
professor Dr. Todd Boyd over
Jeremy Tyler leaving high school
to play in Europe.
The film will explore The Little League World
Series and the countless stories like Danny
Almonte who lied about his age to play in this
important event. He led his team to the finals
and was 3 years older than his competitors.
Weʼll go to specialized Speed schools for
young track athletes where they constantly
strive for performance perfection.Weʼll go to
Friday Night Lights type football games and
show how serious this stuff really gets by going
behind the scenes.
Weʼll visit the USC recruiting machine. Due
to NCAA investigations into its football and basketball programs for
impermissible benefits received by star players,The University of
Southern California has developed a reputation in recent years as one
of the least upstanding in college sports. Another way to look at it is
USC is the least hypocritical, for not acting like big-time college
sports is an act of amateurism played by “student-athletes” more
interested in education. USC knows football is big business and
thatʼs the way we play it. Yes Iʼm a Trojan...Fight On.
For many football players, their first exposure to the commercial beast
comes in high school. Starting in ninth grade—before they even grow into
their bodies—they get ranked and hounded by the recruiting services, with
the “best” of these prospects getting invited to summer camps, held on
college campuses, that resemble an early NFL combine. Skills are taught at
these meat markets, but they primarily exist to 1) identify and curry favor
with blue-chip recruits, and 2) make some money for the head coach.
USCʼs two-day Rising Stars Camp each June is
no different than the rest.
Flanked by seven Heisman Trophies in the
middle of Heritage Hall, the charismatic coach
welcomes the top prospects from California and
beyond, repeatedly urging them to
“compete” (his favorite word) during the camp. A
day later, a few of them will get offered a football
scholarship—essentially an employment
contract with the athletic department whose
value is capped by an NCAA cartel that reaps
billions in revenues each year while sharing little
of its winnings with its athlete-entertainers.
But hey, itʼs the one of the only routes to NFL or NBA pay dirt. So the
teenage athletes and their parents with stars in their eyes roll with it,
shuttling their kid from camp to camp, state to state, hoping for the best.
Whatʼs the other route you ask? Well if you play basketball, you can skip
High School, play oversees in the AAU against grown men and come back
and get drafted to the NBA, otherwise if you stay in the states you have to
sit out a year if you donʼt want to play in college. Not such a big deterrent
for kids these days.
Then there are the true tragedies. Like
the Massachusetts father that killed
another father at a Hockey practice
over a disputed call. This wasnʼt even
during a game and the parent who got
killed was the aggressor to a much
bigger man.
Youth sport itself is big business. We
have the highest demand for soccer
equipment in the world. From Sporting
Goods companies to league organizers
there is a fortune being made off of kids
sports. The parents are the ones who pay of
6 years in the penalty box for Tommy
Junta who killed another parent in
self defense with his bare hands at
his 10 year old sonʼs hockey game.
Did you know that only 35% of the sports
apparel purchased in America is used for
actual practice or competition? On the
flip-side 35% of all hotel stays in America are attributed to youth
The Offense/Defense Football Camps draw thousands of kids from across
the country at $760 a pop. The parents donʼt seem to care at all. I
remember going with my brother Mad Dog. He was on team 1. I was on
team 10.
What does that all mean? I found out later. Team 1 means your D1
material; Team 10 means maybe youʼll play in High School. In other words
I was too short and too slow to even be given a shot. My brother went on
to play as a walk on at The University of Cincinnati, the only athlete in the
history of our high school only to blow out his knee and be forgotten about
by the program.
The Turcotte Stickhandling Hockey School, based in Ormond Beach,
Fla., of all places, expects 6,400 kids to take part in its clinics this
summer, up from 2,600 in 1992. - Time Magazine
By the time the film reaches the
NCAA weʼll be into a full boil. The
8 Billion Dollar a year non-profit
industry. The one that hosts all of
those bowl games sponsored by
corporate America.
How is it okay for the guys in suits,
in the luxury suites, drinking
martinis, to exploit players and
make tons of money for their
university or brand? The kids
canʼt get paid, canʼt have a job,
canʼt do anything except play
football, oh yeah and go to school.
Did you know the average college
football player puts in 45 hours a
week in practice, lifting, films, etc. Thereʼs no time to be a student-athlete!
Teddy Roosevelt created the NCAA to protect athletes from getting hurt, but
talk to USC graduate Bob Demars whoʼs $100,000 education doesnʼt come
close to his post-school $350,000 in medical bills incurred from bad knees,
broken bones, and concussions.
Are these parents living vicariously through their children? Are they
expecting their children to be what they were not? In the end you realize
that no matter how much training your kid puts in thereʼs always the kid like
LeBron James who didnʼt start playing basketball until he was 9, late by
todayʼs standards, yet is defining how the NBA should run the league.
Thereʼs always going to be the genetic freaks, thereʼs always going to be
the naturals…and even then, that child must possess the desire to excel in
the sport, despite what the parent may want.
There are many themes and angles to explore here. There are so many
sports to look at from Team to Individual. There are many places around
the country to travel to, from the courts of NY to the Friday Night Lights
stadiums in Texas and the Baseball hotbed of Florida and back to LA where
you can play any sport any time of the year.
Weʼll “Blow The Whistle” on the most intriguing stories, interview the most
controversial and fresh subjects and weave it together with a narrative arc.
This is a powerful and insightful story that says not just something about
youth sports, but America today and our desire to remain a SuperPower in
all aspects of life.
This film is complex, unflinching, honest, and will pull no punches, in telling
both sides of the story. America spends the most money on athletics by far,
so how is it possible that weʼre also the fattest nation in the world?
Can we strike a balance for parents who want happy and healthy kids who
arenʼt obese? This film will not only
showcase problems, but offer solutions.
Bellʼs expose will be the second in his series
of must-see documentaries that challenges
Americaʼs moral compass. Why have we
become a country obsessed with winning and
becoming Bigger Stronger Faster, Younger?
Freddy Adu - The only World Class
Soccer Player America ever
produced, and heʼs not even from
Chris Bell – Producer/Writer/Director…Taking
the experience from Bigger Stronger Faster*
weʼre going to tackle another huge issue and
spark a national conversation about the athletic
institution in America. Chris Bell is a graduate of
USCʼs School of Cinema Television and former
writer for the WWE.
Leland Anderson – Producer/
Subject A 6ʼ7” Giant both in personality and physical
presence, Leland was a blue chip recruit to a major division
one school who faced violation charges and then switched
schools to play in college and the pros. Heʼs seen it all and
has lived in Los Angeles for the past 8 years working as a
coach and trainer. Heʼs our access into this entire world and
will be a focal point of our story as he goes from player to
Kurt Engfehr Producer/Editor – The Genius Editor driving the
combined success of the 350 million dollar grossing films
Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling For Columbine and the Sundance
Hit Bigger Stronger Faster as well as many other documentaries.
Kurt is an amazing asset to any film and is amazing in
structuring a story that the world needs to hear.
Tom Farrey – Investigative reporter and writer for
ESPN The Magazine, heʼs the one that got me pumped up
about this to begin with. His book Game On will save us a
ton of time in the research department.
“Hey Ref, Up Yours!” - an angry
fan at his sisterʼs soccer game.