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Episode 1 Review: Amazon’s All or Nothing: Michigan Football

The Pope, a QB competition, and lots of Jim Harbaugh.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A Big Ten football program getting its own Amazon season series? This is perfect content for OTE, so our writers are going to give you an episode-by-episode review. Episode 1 is reviewed today.

All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines

Episode 1: Faith, Family, Football

CliffsNotes: The Michigan football team goes to Rome, entire Harbaugh family in tow, meets the Pope, gives the team the Italian / Vatican City experience, and then comes home to move the players into the dorms and prep for the Florida opener.

Episode MVP: Harbaugh, of course, and his dynamic quirky bat-shot-of-a-cannon personality. His inane, or insane, stories are fantastic too, like when he didn’t have money to get ice cream as a kid, so instead of taking money from others to get it, he just claimed he hated ice cream, and his players should have that same hard-headed desire to work hard and GO GET YOUR ICE CREAM...See? I’ve already lost track of the story and its lesson. But I am now running around the house yelling GO GET YOUR ICE CREAM so.

Best Cameo: Linebacker Reuben Jones does a MTV Cribs spinoff called “Umich Cribs” where he hijacks the camerman and walks us through the dorm rooms where the players stay. I didn’t know freshmen and sophomore players at top-level D1 schools still stay in dorm rooms, I just assumed accommodations were Kentucky Basketball-esque.

Best Mom: Rashan Gary’s mom worrying about him via phone (“Are you eating right?” “I’m proud of you!”) is the good stuff. That’s the good stuff.

HD Cameras for the win: The football shots are fantastic. The trench battles are fantastically intense. The sidelines shots are beautiful and catch some great in-game conversations.

LVP (Least Valuable Player): The concept of “suspense”. For whatever reason, the Speight v. O’Korn quarterback battle didn’t move my radar. Maybe it’s a suspense thing, because we know how it played out. Maybe it’s because they are too nice to each other, so it’s hard to get fired up. However, the practice shots of everyone watching the QB’s battle for the starting position and reacting to each throw were excellent.

Philosophical Lesson: Will the whole thing translate to more wins for the Wolverines? I don’t know, but the whole series seems like a big win for Michigan and Harbaugh. It’s good for recruiting, it’s good for building the brand, it’s great for fundraising.