FAMU players and coaches gather for an evening of viewing the documentary “Why Not Us” at the IMAX theater

Before the film hit computer and cell phone screens, Florida A&M’s football documentary “Why Not Us” presented by Cricket Wireless was shown on the big screen.

Coaches and players gathered at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX theater on Wednesday evening for an evening watch. The official debut will air on ESPN + starting Thursday.

‘Why Not Us’ is an acclaimed The Undefeated series on ESPN + and produced by NBA star Chris Paul.

The film crews have been following the Rattlers daily since the start of camp in August. They captured exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from practices, weightlifting, team and staff meetings with the coaches.

The filmmakers also filmed the highlights of the games – at home and away.

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Everyone in the program considers this exhibition to be a huge success. It elevates the national football platform FAMU to an even higher level.

“We enjoyed watching it tonight (Wednesday),” said FAMU head football coach Willie Simmons.

“It was raw and uncut. He captured the guys in their purest form. We had a good laugh and loved it.”

During the home games, an extract of the film is shown on the giant screen. Fans enter collective silence to hear sound bites from Simmons and the team.

The players were delighted to see each other on screen. While they are used to having games on TV, this is a new arena.

There is a tremendous sense of pride in their university and their program with representation through “Why Not Us”.

“It gives guys a lot of exposure. You never know what might come of it. It could lead to jobs and more after college and football,” said FAMU security Antwan Collier.

“We just act like ourselves on camera. We had a fun time with a rap battle. It’s great for us.”


Adding to FAMU’s appeal to the ESPN family of networks, First Take, the popular morning talk show, will broadcast FAMU’s homecoming live.

The show will air on Friday, October 29 at the new Will Packer Amphitheater. Packer is a remarkable filmmaker and a Rattler alumnus.

Actor / comedian Kevin Hart is a key guest alongside moderator Molly Qerim Rose and lead host Stephen A. Smith. It will be free for the public with entry from 8:30 a.m.

“Since I first met Will Packer years ago, there has never been any doubt that two things were of the utmost importance to him: FAMU and HBCU in general,” Smith said.

“Will’s commitment to excellence doesn’t stop with himself. He has always been driven to inspire and lead, especially when it comes to the great people who frequent FAMU.”

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Smith went on to praise Packer, declaring the importance of First Take in Tallahassee to celebrate the amphitheater’s great achievement.

“This amphitheater unveiling is just the latest example of how dedicated Will Packer is to FAMU and how determined he is to be this shining example who truly cares. I am honored that he has me. asked to make sure First Take is part of his sensational event. And even more so to call him my friend, “he said.

Simmons said he looks forward to First Take as part of FAMU’s homecoming. Such notoriety is good for brand awareness, recruiting, and overall college morale.

“It’s wonderful what ESPN and First Take are doing to showcase HBCUs. Stephen A. Smith is an HBCU product. It’s great for all of us. We’re so excited to have them for Reunion Week. is already a big thing. Now we will show the world, “said Simmons.

FAMU faces Grambling State on October 30 for their return game.

Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @rattlernews and @ married2game1.

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