If the video above does not play on your device, click here.
Five years ago this Sunday, an early spring baseball game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies turned into something much more than a Sunday Night Baseball contest between division rivals. It was during the course of that game that the nation and the world learned of Osama Bin Laden’s capture.
This Sunday, on the fifth anniversary of that historical moment, Outside the Lines (ESPN, 9 a.m. ET) will feature the story of what happened in that May 1, 2011 game through the eyes of some of the people who were there including David Wright, Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Valentine and ESPN’s Dan Shulman. President Barack Obama also makes a special appearance sharing his memories of that night, one that transcended sports in an unforgettable way. Led by the efforts of E:60 feature producers Michael Johns and Matt Rissmiller, Front Row asked Rissmiller for some details on how the piece came together:
How did the concept to do a five-year anniversary piece come about?
This was Mike’s idea. About a month ago, we started production. For me, it’s been fascinating to see how this historic moment intersected with the baseball game on ESPN. Specifically, it’s really intriguing to learn the timing of how different groups of people (e.g. the players, fans and production staff) all found out the news that night.
What was the most challenging part about putting this piece together?
I think the storytelling and doing it in a streamlined way that’s ideally most compelling for viewers is the most challenging part. For this particular story, you have groups of people that are finding out the same news at different periods of time, so you’re trying to make sure what you’re putting together isn’t repetitive as you’re moving through the narrative.
Aside from documenting a moment in time, what do you think makes this piece special and what are you hoping viewers will take away from it?
Although we all have our differences, in a lot of ways we’re similar. At 8 p.m., Mets and Phillies fans walked into Citizens Bank ballpark rooting for their respective teams. By the end of the night, everyone was united, so it’s really interesting to see that shift take place.
The feature will re-air on E:60 Tuesday, May 3 (ESPN, 10 p.m.).