ESPN has been at the forefront of broadcasting sports content during this national shutdown when no sports are being played. Whether it was moving up the release of the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance or leading the broadcast of the NFL Draft, the Worldwide Leader has really stepped it up over the last month.
With all due respect to what ESPN has done so far, nothing has stunned me more than the 59-second preview they just released ahead of their documentary on Alex Smith.
For those who don't know, Smith suffered a horrific leg injury during the 2018 NFL season while playing quarterback for the Washington Redskins. The injury was so devastating, there were rumors that he may lose the leg completely. The fact that no follow-up images or videos of Smith emerged in the months following the injury only confirmed how bad it was.
Still, I wasn't prepared for this.
In this teaser, Smith, calmly, explains how they took a piece of his left quad and put it into his right shin area. He discusses 17 surgeries, skin grafts, rods being placed in his knee and follow-up surgeries to locate an infection.
The whole time, all you can do as a viewer is stare at his leg and wonder what it is, because it surely doesn't look like a leg.
The documentary debuts on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and follows Smith's progress in rehab. According to an email from ESPN, it features footage of his family making "life-changing decisions" and Smith going through recovery and rehab. It also features interviews with his former coaches and teammates. ESPN does warn there will be graphic content.
We all knew Smith's injury was severe as soon as it happened, but this will show us how truly devastating it was/is for him and his family. Buckle up, because if this video is any indication, the documentary is going to emotionally jarring to watch.