[05/06/09 - 08:18 AM]
Football Legend Michael Irvin Seeks the Next Great Football Star in '4th and Long'
Plus: Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson are set to guest star on the series, due on Monday, May 18 at 10:00/9:00c.

[via press release from Spike TV]

Football Legend Michael Irvin Seeks the Next Great Football Star in '4th and Long'

Series Premieres on Spike TV Monday, May 18 at 10:00pm ET/PT

NFL Greats Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson Are Among The Roster of Guest Stars

NEW YORK, May 6 -- Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and Spike TV are on a quest to give a football hopeful a shot at making the Dallas Cowboys roster in the new series "4th and Long." Premiering on Monday, May 18 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT), Spike TV will chronicle the rigorous training, heated competition, and compelling moments among 12 talented unsigned football players -- individuals who either blew their first shot at making the NFL, or never had one to begin with. In a 10-week training camp, Irvin will offer his wealth of experience and guidance to mold them into NFL-caliber players. Each week a different contestant will be cut, with the eventual victor heading to training camp with football's legendary franchise, the Dallas Cowboys.

The twelve players participating (6 wide receivers and 6 defensive backs) have impressive pedigrees including high-school All-Americans, Arena League MVP's and starters at Division 1 college programs such as the University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee.

Former NFL All-Pro Bill Bates will coach the defensive backs and former Dallas special-teams coach, Joe Avezzano will oversee the wide receivers. Guest stars on "4th and Long" include Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, and Roger Staubach along with current and former Cowboy greats Drew Pearson, Daryl Johnston, Jay Novacek, Nate Newton, Darren Woodson, Terence Newman, and Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will also appear throughout the series.

The 12 elite athletes were selected during a nationwide search with the assistance of Scout.com to unearth the best overlooked, underrated and unsigned talent at the wide receiver and defensive back positions.

The 10-episode series was shot at various locations in Dallas, Texas, primarily at the stadium first called home by the Dallas Cowboys in 1960: the legendary Cotton Bowl where the athletes lived and trained.


Irvin, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, was a three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys (1988-1999). Irvin was a standout receiver for the University of Miami and a key component to their 1987 National Championship team. A first round pick by Dallas (11th overall), Irvin was integral in restoring the Cowboys to national prominence and the moniker, "America's Team." From 1991-1998, Irvin tallied more that 1000 yards in all but one season, and in 1995 set team single-season records for receptions and yards. His many football accolades include being named to the NFL All-Decade Team ('90's), Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Dallas Cowboy Ring of Honor.


Bates, who played 15 seasons (1983-1997) for the Dallas Cowboys and appeared in three Super Bowls and a Pro Bowl, will coach the defensive backs. Bates can empathize with the contestants on the show, as he went from an undrafted free agent and a long shot to make the roster to an extensive career with the Cowboys, including being named special-teams captain in 1990.


Joe Avezzano, a three-time NFL special teams coach of the year with the Dallas Cowboys, will coach the wide receivers. Avezzano, who played briefly in the AFL for the Boston Patriots in 1966, has a long coaching career including most notably serving as Dallas Cowboys special teams coach (1990-2002), head coach at Oregon St. (1980-1984), head coach for the Arena Football Dallas Desperados (2002-2003), offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee (1977-1979) and offensive line coach for the national champion University of Pittsburgh Panthers in 1976.

"4th and Long" is produced by 3 Ball Productions and was created by Irvin and his production company, Playmaker Productions.

Todd Nelson and JD Roth of 3 Ball Productions serve as executive producers along with Irvin. Overseeing the creative for Spike TV are Sharon Levy, senior vice president of original series and Tim Duffy, vice president of original programming for Spike TV.

Spike TV is available in 98 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com.

  [may 2009]  


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