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ESPN Spotlights The Bears' Awful 2016 Season In 8-Part Documentary

By Emma G. Gallegos in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 22, 2017 6:40PM

Diehard Bears fan(ESPN)

ESPN, fresh off the success of its Academy Award-winning O.J. Simpson docuseries, has announced the subject of its next documentary deep dive: the Bears season ticket holders of Section 250. The first two of the eight-part series "We The Fans" will debut on ESPN Tuesday, April 11.

It's an interesting editorial choice to follow the fans of a storied team during a truly terrible season. The Bears' record was 3-13, and the tough season left Soldier Field pretty empty during many games. But as the title suggests, the docuseries isn't about the team so much as the fans. Variety details some of the backstories featured in the 30-minute episodes:

The show’s stars include Sylvia Giacomuzzi, a single mom and lawyer who fought for her Bears tickets in a divorce settlement; the Tounsels, a working-class African-American family with multigenerational bonds; Brian Reusch, a radio DJ from rural Illinois who takes care of his elderly mother; and Mike Schaeffer and his fiancĂ©e, Chivon, whose wedding is set for October just as the Cubs make their World Series run. Terry Miller, a beer vendor who has worked the stands at Soldier Field for 16 years, narrates.

Variety says that, unlike O.J.: Made in America, the project will be a little more reality TV than prestige TV. There will even be a reunion show at the end with some of the fans recapping what happened (which sounds like a page out of Real Housewives franchise).

ESPN has high hopes for the project and will pull out all the stops to tell the story across all the platforms of the sports-media empire. Chad Millman, VP/editorial director of U.S. digital content, says he thinks the way the story is told will transcend football and even sports. ESPN is also hoping that if this goes well, this will open the door to future deep dives into sports fandom.