Nine Innings From Ground Zero Essays

Donna Zaccaro (Director & Producer)

Donna Zaccaro is Founder and President of Dazzling Media, a New York-based media production company. Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way  is a Dazzling Media film. Donna served as the director and producer of this documentary about her mother. Previously, Donna was a long-time, award-winning producer for the “Today” show at NBC News. She has also worked in politics, public affairs marketing and communications, and started her career in investment banking.  Donna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and an MBA in General Business Administration from Harvard Business School.  She lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage children.

Janice DeRosa (Producer)

Janice DeRosa is a co-producer of Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, which marks her foray into feature-length documentary filmmaking after a successful career in network television news. Janice began her career at NBC’s “Today” show where she spent nearly twenty years covering world events and breaking news as well as lifestyle and entertainment stories. From there, she moved on to become a Senior Producer for The CBS Early Show. She now develops film and television projects that she hopes will inform and entertain audiences. It was while at the “Today” show that she first worked with Donna Zaccaro, resulting in a lasting friendship and now, a newly formed producing partnership.

Andrew Morreale Ace (Producer & Editor)

Andrew Morreale is a three-time Emmy Award winning and Academy Award nominated producer/editor who has worked for over 25 years on an extensive list of films for HBO, PBS, ESPN and other independent works. In addition to his role as producer/editor on Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, he edited the Emmy Award winning HBO Sports documentary Namath, and produced and directed Beyond Broken a documentary short about a Long Island artist suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. He continued his work as co-producer and editor on The TEAM Makes a Play, another indie feature documentary about a small independent New York theatre group and their three-year collaborative journey in creating their multi-award-winning production Mission Drift. Morreale was a co-creator of ESPN’s popular series The World Series of Poker. He has operated a small production company since 2003 producing a variety of short films. Other notable credits include: Wartorn (HBO), I Have Tourette’s (HBO), Nine Innings From Ground Zero (HBO), Uncle Frank (also as producer, HBO), The Trial of Saddam Hussein (also as co-writer, PBS), and An Essay on Matisse (1997 Academy Award Nominee).












Identity and Myth in Sports Documentaries is a useful work that includes ten contributed articles that analyze selected sport documentaries alongside history and cinema as well as gender and ethnic studies. The brief introduction by co-editor Zachary Ingle defines sport documentary as a “(sub)genre” focused upon “the centrality of competition … the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” (p. x). Perhaps the most valuable feature of this volume is the extensive filmography, which will be especially appealing to teachers of sport studies courses.

The volume is divided into three sections, each of which has three or four articles of roughly twelve-to-fifteen pages, including endnotes at the end of each piece. The first section, “American Identity and Myth,” includes John Vilanova’s article on 1960s surfer films and “alternative whiteness,” as well as Todd M. Sodano’s contribution on the post-9/11 documentary Nine Innings from Ground Zero (2004). Sean S. O’Neil shows how Chase Heavener’s Tim Tebow: Everything in Between (2011) is rooted in the tradition of “Muscular Christianity” and unintentionally “raises … intriguing questions about the relationship between religion and the body” (p. 31). The second section of the book, “Race and Ethnicity,” features Jamie Kern’s theoretically astute article on motherhood and poverty in Hoop Dreams (1994) and Justin D. García’s analysis of Mexican-American immigration and gender in boxing documentaries. Co-editor Ingle’s contribution—although somewhat dense and redundant—closes out the second section by examining The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998) alongside relevant baseball cinema and literature. It also includes an overview of the famous Jewish slugger’s life and his historical significance.

The third section, “Global Perspectives,” comprises four strong articles. Jessica Carniel’s piece analyzes tropes of masculinity in an Australian reality television show about nerds who “were transformed from feminized intellectuals to masculinized sportsmen” (p. 93) through their immersion in soccer. Zach Saltz juxtaposes the feature film Sugar (2008) [End Page 347] with several early 2000s documentaries portraying Dominican baseball players’ struggles. In another piece, Marius Hentea and Elise Trogrlic examine French identity in two documentaries about World Cup soccer. The final contribution (and the longest in the volume) is co-editor David M. Sutera’s detailed analysis of three Olympic documentaries: Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938), Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad (1965), and Bud Greenspan’s televised series The Olympiad (1976). Sutera deftly shows how all three directors viewed their subjects through the lens of nationalism, although two (Riefenstahl and Ichikawa) were criticized by their contemporaries for not being nationalist enough. This article would work well to anchor a class discussion about the Olympics and nationalism in the media.

Like all edited collections, this volume is somewhat uneven in scope and quality. While most of the documentaries analyzed date from the 2000s, several articles (including Vilanova’s piece on surfer films and Sutera’s analysis of Olympic documentaries) focus on twentieth-century documentaries. Although some articles focus on well-known films (like Hoop Dreams), other subjects are more obscure. It is difficult for a reader not already familiar with this genre to discern the relative historic significance or aesthetic merit of each documentary. Since there is no clear rationale explaining which documentaries were chosen for analysis, as a whole this collection reads almost like a volume of conference proceedings. The eleven contributors include scholars of history, film, literature, Latin American Studies, anthropology, communication, religion, and American Studies. The co-editors—who are apparently graduate students in the Department of Film & Media Studies at the University of Kansas—have also edited a volume titled Gender and Genre in Sports Documentaries: Critical Essays (Scarecrow Press, 2013).

The filmography (pp. 169-185) is one of the book’s most valuable components. It lists over 400 films in over sixty categories. While the filmography makes no claims to being comprehensive, it is extensive. Sports like baseball, basketball, boxing, and football are well represented; less prominent...

0 thoughts on “Nine Innings From Ground Zero Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *