Legendary sports director and producer Ross Greenburg dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday night, not long after the debut of his new series, “A Season with Notre Dame Football.” The show gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the best and most storied programs in college football.
“Brian Kelly saw it as an opportunity,” Greenburg said on Ferrall on the Bench. “To be honest, it’s a great recruiting tool. Because when you can take down the veil and look at what is a great, wonderful school with a great tradition, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s kind of a showcase for them to show off their school and their football program.”
Greenburg and his crew had followed Mike Brey and Notre Dame basketball last March. When Greenburg expressed his desire to feature Notre Dame football, Brey called Kelly and told him it was a good experience.
That was all Kelly needed to hear.
The first episode followed the Irish up to – and through – their season-opening 38-3 win over Texas in South Bend this past Saturday. Scott Ferrall attended countless Notre Dame in his youth, and he’ll be the first to tell you that Greenburg nailed the game-day experience at ND.
“We decided we would take people through that entire day and shoot the heck out of it,” Greenburg said. “We put together a montage that actually sent chills up my spine as I watched it in rough cut form. I think (that) . . . is the highlight of the first half hour. We see the horns going inside the dome and we see the march of the band, we see the players going through the cavalcade of students on the campus – there’s nothing like it at Notre Dame. I’ve been told about it for years. I’ve never witnessed it like you did, but I think we captured it for television.”
Greenburg spent more than three decades at HBO before switching to Showtime in 2011.
“It was scary,” Greenburg said. “I knew I was going into uncharted waters. I was at HBO for 33 years, so it was home. But now I found so many great people on the outside that I knew over the years. It’s wonderful to kind of bring this kind of programming to other places. But to be honest with you, one of the great benefits I’ve had over many years is surrounding myself with the best in the business. As long as you surround yourself with the best and you’re a head coach and you put people in the right position to do their best work, you can sit back and just enjoy it. This is a form of television that I find very fascinating to go for the storyline, to go for the jugular and try to bring out the human drama of athletic competition and off-the-field antics by players. It’s fun. It really brings to life the game of football in this case. Obviously I’ve done it in boxing and the NHL and elsewhere as well, but this is what it’s all about.”
It’s only been one episode, but Showtime is loving the series thus far – to the point where the show, like college football, could become an annual tradition.
“They’re loving it,” Greenburg said. “They’re very, very excited. They know that this is an important showcase and can be a yearly staple on the network. I think ‘A Season with’ will have many years on Showtime.”