By Greg Frith, Producer
“NFL Films Presents: My One and Only” will air on Fox Sports 1 on
Sunday 11/23 @ 10:00AM EST, 7:00AM Pacific
Tuesday 11/25 @ 7:00PM EST, 4:00PM Pacific
Part of the job for producers at NFL Films is generating story ideas. Sometimes they come from an article you read, sometimes they come from watching a player’s wire, and sometimes they come from your mother-in-law. There are also times they just come out of thin air. That was the case for My One and Only.
One day I wondered how many quarterbacks started once, and only one time in the NFL. I rolled up my sleeves and began going through statistics on pro-football-reference.com. Luckily, there weren’t that many. I was writing down the players and the date of the game, and noticed two of them happened on the same day. I thought that was pretty cool. Then I noticed it wasn’t just the same day, it was the SAME GAME!! Of the thousands of games that have been played, only once did two quarterbacks face each other in their one and only start. Now you have a story.
The story got better. I contacted both quarterbacks – Glenn Carano and David Humm – and found that they were both from Nevada, they knew each other, AND they are friends today. I toyed with the possibility of getting the two together to watch the game. But then came the first speed bump. Humm, who lives with the challenges of multiple sclerosis, didn’t feel up for doing an interview. He said he was just too weak from the debilitating disease.
It was then that I looked up MS. I had heard of it, but did not know what it was. I was surprised to learn it is a disease with no known cause, and no cure. It affects over 2.3 million people worldwide. Multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system that leads to disability among young and middle-aged adults. Its symptoms vary, as does its severity. In fact, its hallmark is unpredictability.
I struck up a phone friendship with David Humm, and from him learned how painful and life-altering MS can be. But despite his condition, David was always ready for conversation, always upbeat, and always full of good stories. Every time we spoke, I would ask him if he was ready yet to sit down and do the story, and his answer was always the same: “I feel like sh*t. I look like sh*t. I can’t”. I assured him his story was inspirational, and no one would be concerned with how he looked because they would be listening to his story. He would not be swayed. Finally, I enlisted the help of his daughter. I explained the situation, and she agreed that doing the story would be great for him, and maybe for others. We proved correct the theory that dads cannot say no to their daughters. David said with a laugh, “I’ll do it. But I hate you.”
NFL Films traveled to Las Vegas to interview David in his home, and I had a blast talking to him. His football stories are great, and his post football struggle is both tragic and inspirational. After we finished, David thanked me for being persistent. He said, “I don’t hate you. I’m really glad I did it.”
For more information on multiple sclerosis, go to www.nationalmssociety.org