You can understand why
Sure, the UIC alum knew his story was worthy of the big-screen treatment — it’s not every day that someone who went undrafted by
“I think it’s a little strange to get behind a story that’s about you,” DeMerit said over the phone from Vancouver Thursday, where he now plays for Major League Soccer’s
"But knowing soccer and having played it for many years, I knew how unique the story was and decided to get on board."
With the help of a former UIC teammate and his friend, DeMerit and Co. got to work on the documentary shortly before the 2010 World Cup. There was just one problem: the rights to soccer footage are expensive — $20,000-for-one-minute-of-Premier-League-action expensive.
Rather than have an investor foot the bill and dictate the direction of the film, they devised a plan to have fans donate to the cause on an established website, Kickstarter.com. They had a goal ($215,000) and a deadline (July 18), but even DeMerit — the same guy who lived in an attic in England and survived on beans and toast to make his soccer dreams happen — had his doubts throughout the donation process.
"If there's one thing I am, it's realistic," DeMerit said. "I may have had big dreams and big ideas, but ultimately I was realistic it might not happen. A lot of people don't know if you don't reach the goal (by the deadline), kickstarter gives all the money back."
In the end, soccer fans — including "Saturday Night Live" star Seth Meyers and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo — and players, including DeMerit's U.S. teammate Stuart Holden — donated $223,422 in about two and a half months. DeMerit admitted he became emotional when he received the news at practice.
"I shed tears," said DeMerit, who was injured at the time. "I sat there on a bench watching training by myself, and I couldn't believe all the people who made this story happen. That hit home."
"Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story" will screen in a limited number of Chicago-area theaters Thursday and Nov. 10 (go to jaydemeritstory.com to find a screening). It very well could have been a scripted film, but DeMerit passed on a separate pitch because he felt a documentary would be more appropriate in this case. Still, he knows exactly who he would have wanted to play him if the movie had been given the scripted treatment.
"I would say me," DeMerit said. "Hey, Eminem got to play himself in '8 Mile.'"
Corgan backs Epstein: Like most
"One thing I've learned in my many years in the entertainment business, credibility is a lot more important than fans give it credit for," Corgan said over the phone Friday while promoting Resistance Pro Wrestling, which debuts at Excalibur Nov. 25. "If someone is going to convince you to come to a team that hasn't won in 103 years, you have to believe in him."
Corgan wasn't ready to make any bold World Series predictions – after all, this is the Cubs we're talking about -- but he admitted he is more confident in the team than he has been in the last decade.
“I think the Cubs are in a much better position to win the World Series than they were in the last 10 years. As much as the team was winning (in 2003, 2007, 2008), they also had this psychological fragility,” said Corgan before referring to the Red Sox's 2004
About this week: The Cubs'
Sightings: The Green Bay Packers'