A documentary film covering the life and career of legendary late football star Reggie White, will premiere on August 6, 2006, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in conjunction with White's induction into the Hall of Fame on August 5.
The Minister of Defense: The Reggie White Story, is a 90-minute film developed by Reggie's widow, Sara, detailing White's rise from All-America at the University of Tennessee to perennial All-Pro, Super Bowl champion and respected humanitarian. The film provides and in-depth look at the impact White had on the NFL and in the lives of teammates, coaches, opponents and broadcasters he connected with along the way.
The most honored athlete to play defensive line in the National Football League's long history, White enjoyed an illustrious career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, and Carolina Panthers. He was selected as a seven-time All-NFL performer (1986-92), and currently ranks as the second all-time NFL leader in sacks. In 1994, he was selected to the NFL's 75th anniversary All-Time Team, and in 2006, was elected for enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1991, and 1998, he was selected to 13 straight Pro Bowls, and was named to the NFL All-Pro team 13 times. In 1997, he helped lead the Packers to a Super Bowl championship, recording a record three sacks in the game. Ordained as a minister at the age of 17, the former consensus All-America at the University of Tennessee earned the nickname "The Minister of Defense" as a senior in college. He died from complications of sleep apnea and sarcoidosis on December 26, 2004 at age 43.
The exclusive documentary includes interviews with over 40 NFL notables, such as Steve Young, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, John Elway, Ray Lewis and Lynn Swann; numerous former teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers; coaches Buddy Ryan and Steve Mariucci; broadcasters Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen, and others. Also included is candid, never-before-seen footage of White, personal stories that are both humorous and heartwarming, and excerpts from various interviews with White throughout the years. The film is narrated by longtime NFL studio host James Brown.
The Minister of Defense: The Reggie White Story provides a comprehensive look at the seemingly larger-than-life White, a unique sports hero with a powerful yet gentle presence, who used his platform to impact others. A man of strong conviction, compassion, and faith, White used his fame to influence the lives of many, both on and off the football field.
A press conference announcing the release of the film will be held on Sunday, August 6, at 3 p.m. in the Hall of Fame's NFL Films Theater followed immediately by a special release version of the film. All media are invited to attend.
Shot in Hi-Definition mode, the film is produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Steve Riach. Riach has produced numerous sports documentaries and personality profile specials that have aired on ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC and other broadcast and cable outlets, as well as home entertainment properties for domestic and international distribution.
The film is sponsored by Respironics,Invacare,Somnomed,DOSA and Relocatemadesimple.com. All proceeds from sales of the documentary will go to charity through the White's Straight From the Heart Ministry.
The complete 90-minute documentary DVD will be released to the public at the end of August, to coincide with the opening of the 2006 NFL season.