New York-based indie Back Roads Entertainment has teamed with former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf to produce a docuseries that delves into some of the sports world’s biggest disappointments.
Hosted by Leaf, Bust will offer intimate insight into sporting blunders beyond the headlines. Through one-on-one interviews, the series will look at the emotionally damaging power of expectations and the trials faced by these athletes as they attempt to recover from their sporting disappointments. Leaf will sit down with each athlete to hear their perspective, see what they’ve become, and what now lies ahead for them.
Leaf had a successful college career for the Washington State Cougars, where he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after his junior year. Drafted second overall in the 1998 NFL draft, the highly-touted quarterback would go on to play four seasons for the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys, and also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks. The pressure to perform at an elite level, however, proved to be too much for Leaf, whose professional football career would come to an end in 2002.
Following Leaf’s official retirement from the NFL in 2003, he dealt with mental health and substance abuse issues, leading him to serve 32 months in prison for crimes related to substance abuse. While in prison, he found support in his roommate and, after being released in 2014, turned his life around. Leaf is now the CEO and president of RAM Consultant, Inc., a program ambassador for Transcend Recovery Community, and more. Additionally, the ex-NFLer works tirelessly with his non-profit, the Focused Intensity Foundation, raising money for mental health and substance abuse treatment for those who can’t afford it.
“I hope with Busts we will get the opportunity to know these icons as people and discover from their own accounts what shaped their incredible journeys of how they got to where they are today,” said Leaf in a statement.
“A ‘bust’ is someone entire cities and fandoms put their wildest sports hopes and dreams upon, only to find crushing disappointment,” added Gaines. “This is bigger than a sports docuseries – it’s about the power of expectation, it’s about our collective humanity, and it’s about rising from the ashes.”
Back Roads most recently premiered 50 Central on Viacom-owned net BET, hosted by and starring musician and entrepreneur 50 Cent, and partnered with Wu-Tang Clan and social influencer Draya Michele for respective projects.