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OTL Primetime Series History 1996-2000

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Outside the Lines: AIDS & Sports, March 1996, examined a life-threatening issue in sports when it focused on the impact that the HIV virus and AIDS have had in the athletic community.

Outside the Lines: Sports, Inc., April 1996, examined how athletes parlay their on-field success into off-field financial security.

Outside the Lines: 500 Miles Apart, May 1996, documented the same-day staging of the inaugural U.S. 500 and the traditional Indianapolis 500.

Outside the Lines: Sports In Russia, July 1996, took a timely look at the state of sports in Russia at a time when interest in international competition was at its highest - during the Olympic Games.

Outside the Lines: The Transition Game, August 30, 1996, examined what it takes for athletes to rise to the next level, focusing on the obstacles they must overcome.

Outside the Lines: The Big Red Machine, October 18, 1996, took a timely look at one of the Major League's best teams of the last 20 years on the eve of the 1996 World Series.

Outside the Lines: The NBA at 50, November 6, 1996, focused on the National Basketball Association as it tipped off its 50th season.

Outside the Lines: Inside Titletown, USA, December 17, 1996, examined how a small-town team like the Green Bay Packers can survive and flourish in today's big-business sports world.

Outside the Lines: Breaking the Line - Jackie Robinson's Legacy, February 28, 1997, commemorated the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier by putting the impact of his life in historical perspective. This was followed by the inaugural live ESPN Town Meeting: Sports in Black & White.

Outside the Lines: Women & Sports - At the Crossroads, April 7, 1997, celebrated the 25th anniversary of Title IX and the increased popularity of women's sports following the 1996 Summer Olympics by examining issues surrounding the state of women's sports.

Outside the Lines: Inside The Kentucky Derby, May 5, 1997, aired just two days after the race and chronicled key events and prominent persons and horses during the four days leading up to and through the 123rd Kentucky Derby.

Outside the Lines: The Tiger Woods Effect, June 9, 1997, was hosted by Bob Ley from the site of the U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. It profiled Woods via rare video and interviews, looked at his influence on race relations, provided an X's and O's analysis of his swing, and examined how his presence is making the sport of golf more popular.

Outside the Lines: Major League Béisbol, July 22, 1997, focused on the influx and impact of Latinos into American baseball, taking a comprehensive look at the proliferation of players from Latin America, their cultural assimilation, the players who do not make it, and the marketing aimed toward Latino fans.

Outside the Lines: Sports Under Arrest, September 2, 1997, examined the escalating trends of athletes getting into trouble, taking a comprehensive look at why, whether they are being singled out by law enforcement, whether they receive preferential treatment, and the crisis management tactics used by leagues, teams, agents and companies.

Outside the Lines: Sportsmanship in the '90's - Is Winning the Only Thing?, November 4, 1997, examined the current state of sportsmanship in professional, collegiate and high school sports and featured Chicago Bears' linebacker Bryan Cox addressing questions from eighth graders. This was followed by the second live ESPN Town Meeting of the same name.

Outside The Lines: Turf Wars - Gangs & Sports, December 5, 1997, examined the influence of street gangs on athletics and vice versa from high schools to the pros and from the inner cities to suburbia. Segments included a look at pro athletes who have alleged gang connections, what happened when a college football team recruited players with gang ties, and a sporting event, which took place at the center of gang violence.

Outside the Lines: The Weight Debate - Sports by the Pound, January 26, 1998, examined athletes and weight loss, and included a look at deaths in collegiate wrestling, the effectiveness of weight loss rules in high school wrestling, the Sports Performance Program of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center which helps athletes lose weight properly, and athletes who use the nutritional supplement Creatine to add weight through increased muscle mass.

Outside The Lines: Made in Vietnam - The American Sneaker Controversy, April 2, 1998, examined the controversy surrounding the sneaker industry and its labor issue and included a visit to factories in Vietnam.

Outside The Lines: Race & Sports: Running in Place?, April 14, 1998, addressed the topic of race in sports and set the tone of a "Town Meeting" of the same name in Houston, Texas.

Outside The Lines: The Story Behind the U.S. World Cup Team, June 9, 1998, chronicled the formation and qualifying of the USA World Cup team with exclusive footage and unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to the team, coaches and players, including the wiring of coach Steve Sampson at practices and games.

Outside The Lines: Babe Ruth's Larger Than Life Legacy July 21, 1998, presented a unique perspective on one of the world's greatest personalities when it commemorated the 50th anniversary of the death of Babe Ruth (August 16, 1948) with this special hosted by actor Joe Don Baker ("The Whammer," a character based on Babe Ruth, in the movie The Natural). Not a biography - - many widely reported facts and stories do not receive in-depth coverage in the show - it presented aspects of Ruth's life and legacy that have received less attention and examined how the effects of his life are still felt today.

Outside The Lines: Stadia Mania, September 15, 1998, examined how the boom of new stadiums impacts sports today. The one-hour special focused on the trend of teams and cities building new stadiums and arenas. Bob Ley hosted from Ravens Stadium At Camden Yards, which hosted its first regular-season game September 6.

Outside The Lines: The Andro Debate - Help, Harm or Hype?, November 10, 1998, examined the use of Androstenedione, the controversial supplement, in a 30-minute special which will look into marketers' claims about "andro," its athletic benefits, why it's treated differently by various sports' governing bodies, and how interest in it has filtered down to the high school athlete.

Outside The Lines: The World of the Gay Athlete, December 16, 1998, explored homophobia in sports and the experience of gay athletes. It compared the difference of being openly gay and lesbian in team sports versus individual sports, and profiled gay athletes.

Outside the Lines: Days of Daytona, Feb 18, 1999, presented a behind-the-scenes look at 1999's "Great American Race" less than four days after Jeff Gordon's thrilling duel with Dale Earnhardt to win the 41st Daytona 500. It chronicled key events and prominent persons during the four days leading up to and through the race, telling the story from four different perspectives: driver, crew chief, owner, and car/team.

Outside the Lines: Pro Wrestling's Hold on America, March 30, 1999, examined the world of professional wrestling and its impact on spectators and participants alike. It focused on: pro wrestling's appeal, how storylines are developed and executed, the impact of pro wrestling's sex and violence on children, how mainstream athletes get into pro wrestling, steroids and drug testing.

Outside the Lines: Peddling the Pros - Agents and Athletes, April 20, 1999, examined the business of sports agents and included segments on: players selecting agents; Master P and No Limit Sports; agents' relationships with teams; securing endorsements; becoming a certified agent, and the monitoring of agents.

Outside the Lines: High School Athletes - Do Jocks Rule the School?, June 21, 1999, examined the high school "jock" culture and the friction between athletes and non-athletes with reporting by Shelley Smith (born and raised in Denver and retains ties to the Littleton, Colo. area). It explored the dynamics that have created this situation, and showed ways some schools are attempting to create better relations between these athletes and other students.

Outside the Lines: Ruth to Rose to Ryan - 60 Years of Cooperstown Debates, July 23, 1999, fostered the debate about who's in the Hall of Fame and who isn't with this special on the eve of the Baseball Hall of Fame's annual induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y. It presented both sides of debate on several issues surrounding the Hall of Fame selection process.

Outside the Lines: Nothing But 'Net - Sports Online, September 14, 1999, examined issues surrounding sports on the Internet looking at player sites, domain names ("cybersquatters" securing Web-site names), memorabilia sales, Internet gambling, college recruiting, and event coverage.

Outside the Lines: The Face of Sports in Native America, November 16, 1999, examined issues surrounding Native Americans and sports and looked at the role sports play in the history and lives of Native Americans. Hosted by Bob Ley from the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, segments included: Phil Jackson, Leaving the Reservation, and Sports Mascots.

Outside the Lines: Sports Behind Bars, December 15, 1999, hosted by actor Charles S. Dutton who served nearly a decade in prison, examined how sports thrive behind the walls of the United States penal system. It provided an unprecedented view inside prisons where sports are crucial to everyday life: inmates see sports as a rare opportunity to forget the fact they're incarcerated; prison officials value sports as a way to reduce inmate tension and make prisons safer. However, politicians and taxpayers feel inmates are being coddled and criticize prison sports, demanding tougher treatment towards criminals.

Outside The Lines: Bigger, Stronger, Faster - The Athlete of the 21st Century, January 14, 2000, explored how the future will impact the world of the athlete and how technology will change the face of sports as we know it. It examined the next 100 years of the human body in sports by addressing the following questions among others: can genetic engineering help improve athletic ability? what medical breakthroughs will allow athletes to compete longer? will there be a real bionic man in sports? what high tech training techniques will be incorporated?

Outside the Lines: Betting Billions - Gambling & the Super Bowl, February 4, 2000, examined the multi-billion dollar sports gambling industry by focusing on the Super Bowl. It explored all the "action," beginning with the final gun of the Rams-Buccaneers NFC championship game when the "Opening Line" was posted, through the Super Bowl when more than $6 billion was bet.

Outside the Lines: Playing the Part - Athletes as Actors, March 3, 2000, looked at the growing number of athletes who have found new roles in films and television. It explored the longtime attraction between athletes and the movies, and provided a behind-the-scenes look at athletes who play on sound stages instead of stadiums.

Outside the Lines: Rites and Wrongs - Hazing in Sports, April 11, 2000 looked at the issue of hazing among athletes, the proliferation of hazing from high schools to pro sports, and why human beings engage in hazing. The show also, illustrated the long-term effects of hazing and looked at the activity through the eyes of athletes who have been hazed.

Outside the Lines: Coming of Age - High School to the NBA, May 12, 2000, aired just two days before the deadline for players to declare for the NBA Draft and took a behind-the-scenes look at how a high school basketball player makes the decision on whether to attend college or declare for the NBA Draft. It also showed how the NBA views players making the transition from high school to the pros, and what advice others who took the same path have for the young player.

Outside the Lines: Athletes, Dollars & Sense, June 20, 2000 examined what happens when young athletes suddenly become millionaires and the effects the large amount of cash can have on their lives. The show looked at whether athletes are prepared to become instant millionaires, how they handle their newfound wealth, and their change of lifestyle and relationship with friends and family. It also looked at the future of these athletes when their careers -- and the cash flow -- end.

Outside the Lines: All in the Family - Conflict and Competition, July 18, 2000 focused on how sport effects the family, and examine the relationship among athletic family members.

Outside the Lines: The Washington Redskins - Campaign 2000, August 18, 2000 looked at the expectations surrounding one of the highest-paid professional sports teams in history, the Washington Redskins, who reportedly will pay its players more than $77 million this year, prepares to reach the Super Bowl.

Outside the Lines: No Pain, No Game, September 5, 2000 examined the physical and psychological pain, it's long-term effects, and the ways athletes seek to overcome their pain.

Outside the Lines: The Coaching Life, October 10, 2000 explored significant issues in the increasingly demanding coaching profession, including family stability, personal sacrifices and what it takes to succeed. The show featured a roundtable discussion moderated by Outside the Lines host Bob Ley with coaches including St. John's men's head basketball coach Mike Jarvis, Connecticut men's head basketball coach Jim Calhoun, and former Kentucky and Alabama head football coach and ESPN analyst Bill Curry.

Outside the Lines: Coming of Age II - Teens in the NBA, October 31, 2000 looked at high school seniors who chose to bypass college and enter the NBA Draft. The show, a follow-up to the May 13 Outside the Lines -- Coming of Age: High School to the NBA, focused on DeShawn Stevenson, the 23rd overall pick selected by the Utah Jazz, and Darius Miles, the third overall pick taken by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Outside the Lines: 10 Years Later, December 13, 2000 celebrated the 10th anniversary of this award-winning series. Segments included revisiting basketball legend Sammy Drummer, tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams, disabled marathoner David Lindsay, former and current NBA player Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, the Vietnam sneaker controversy. Magic Johnson, Native American Leann Montes, and the issue of hazing in sports.

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