New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 6 - Page 105

Weitzman strongly disagrees and takes issue with those who think that football players are protected too much. “I’m a long-time football fan, but I don’t think the game’s got- ten soft.” said Weitzman. “The players are so much bigger and so much faster than they used to be which means the colli- sions have exponentially more g-force. Those brains are rattling violently inside their skulls. On the other hand, I don’t think the rule changes do all that much to make football safer. Sub-concus- sions--which can happen with just a defensive and offensive lineman hitting each other--are cumulative. It’s not just the sen- sational, high-speed collisions that cause lasting damage.” Theatrical plays about sports have a checkered past. Suc- cessful ones include works like Golden Boy, Damn Yankees, That Championship Season, and NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 6 Lombardi. The number of fail- ures greatly outweigh the suc- cesses. In fact, in 2012 The New Yorker examined the difficul- ties of bringing sports on stage in a piece entitled, “Why Can’t Broadway Make A Good Sports Play?” Yet Weitzman sees sports as an opportunity for him and for good reason. Prior to play- writing, he wrote and produced sports documentaries and nar- ratives for television and new media for the National Basket- ball Association Entertainment, Speedvision, Emerald City, and CybrCard. He has written plays about basketball (Spin Moves), baseball (The Catch), football (Get Thorpe, Stadium 360) and has a play in progress (Sacrifice) about sexual abuse in a big-time college sports program. “I do think it’s a niche,” said Weitzman. “Plays with sports content or theme are obviously far more prevalent in film be- INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 105