(CBS) – All American Stories is Super Bowl champion Spencer Paysinger’s latest project on The CW. Following the success of All American, which is based on Paysinger’s real life, All American Stories examines other real athletes as they balance excellence on and off the field.
CBS’s Matt Weiss spoke to Paysinger about what to expect from his latest venture.
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MW: Spencer, nice to see you! Looking forward to talking to you about All American Stories in a little while but I wanted to ask about All Americans. Hhow did it happen? It’s not every day that someone does a show about your life story.
SP: Yes. Honestly, it started initially with my time with the Giants. I would watch a new movie every day. I just got to the point where I thought I could write and create some of the things I saw in Secaucus. For years, I wrote my own short stories on my computer.
Good friends noticed me and put me in touch with their friends and we were just gone for the races. After that, we had a bunch of conversations with Warner Brothers. Specifically, one, just tell them a few stories about life in Beverly Hills, a few stories about being in South Central. We entered into contract negotiation right after that.
MW: I’m sure there have been a lot, but can you identify a favorite moment on the show?
SP: I would say I always point to episode one, in our pilot. There is a point where Spencer talks to Leila, and he pretty much reads it. He tells her, like, hey, you’re actually a DB. You like to be alone on an island. You basically like all eyes on you.
It hits her a bit because she finally feels seen for the first time. It’s uncomfortable. This is something that literally in the last days of pilot writing, our writer Edward Blair sent it to me. I was like, actually, let’s change this part to be the DB and not a linebacker. So she accepted. We put him in the pilot and I’m 20 yards watching him say himself and realize, wow, these are my words from actors. It was completely crazy.
MW: It’s awesome. What a wild experience, even for you. You won a Super Bowl. You’ve had some crazy experiences, but it has to be up there too.
SP: Yes. Absoutely.
MW: Now on to All American Stories, how did this project come about and what made you want to be a part of it?
SP: Yogi Roth came to me around mid-fall last year and said, hey, we found a bunch of these crazy, interesting athletes who have done it all from climbing the seven highest peaks. of the world to Olympic hope and turned into a runner’s guide for another person. They came to me with this idea, I saw the stories, I read about them and I looked at each person and I really jumped on them. I felt a lot of them have probably more compelling stories than All American. They should have the show, not me. [laughs]
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MW: I’m sure you’re a bit wrong, but about these athletes what can you tell us about a few of them that really hit you?
SP: Yes, his name is Leo Rogers. It is part of the second part of our series on March 29th. He’s someone who grew up as a motorcyclist but ended up having an accident in Tampa where he had to have his leg amputated. Instead of giving up on this dream about a motorcycle or a bicycle, he got back on a bicycle and began to build a community.
He always says he wants his life to be an inspiration. Don’t let things like literally have a leg removed from your body stop you from putting that smile on your face and the face of your community. It’s just a testament to who he is and just the stories we’re trying to tell.
MW: What is the process for finding these athletes?
SP: Honestly, that’s all Yogi Roth. If we can tell more stories, I want to be a part of this process. But very early on he came to me and said: I have already found these athletes and I just want to help tell these stories. Sadly, I was not part of exploring these athletes and the stories to tell. It is a true testimony of Yogi Roth.
MW: What do you want people to take away from All American Stories?
SP: If you are looking for inspiration, if you are looking for hope, just watch these stories. Coming out specifically of the year that we just had in 2020, that we want to rewrite the history books with 2020. A lot of people were questioning this. A lot of people wonder if they still have the courage to do what they wanted to do to pursue their dreams or just so much that is going on in our minds.
I have two small children that I am raising in COVID right now and if you look at these stories like you have no excuse not to go out and chase your dreams. This is for me, this is the message.
MW: A message we can all use right now. Thank you very much for the time Spencer and all the best to you. Take care!
SP: Thanks Matt, you too!
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Tune in at 9:00 p.m. ET / PT on The CW to All American Stories. Check your local listings for more information.