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Unlike the National Football League, the Potomac Wiffleball League doesn’t require you to have a premium cable subscription to get unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of its best teams. There’s no DVR necessary either.
Nope, all you’ll need to get an inside look at the DC Twits – the reigning Western Division champions – is an Internet connection and the ability to tolerate someone other than Harry Kalas (may he Rest in Peace) doing the voiceover work, a task that’s taller than it seems at first.
Hard Knocks: Potomac Wiffleball League is the brainchild of Twits manager Greg Hudson, who says he came up for the idea during his first season in the PWL.
“It is a very overwhelming entrance [to the League],” says Hudson. “Walking into [Gravelly Point] is very cinematic with planes overhead, D.C. in the background, the Potomac [River] right there, and then these actual fields.
“When you take a step back and realize you are playing wiffleball on a stage like this, it is pretty insane … and a bit ridiculous. So what better way to capture it than this.”
Inspired by the similarly named HBO show that has, over eight of the last nine NFL seasons followed a different team around during its training camp, HK: PW gives wiffleball fans a chance to get an inside look at a PWL season from start to finish.
Only the first episode has “aired” so far (on YouTube), and it focused exclusively on preseason preparations – picking a schedule, assembling a team and so on, but Hudson says fans can expect seven or eight more episodes where that came from, with the next – other commitments permitting – due out on Monday or Tuesday.
“Quite a bit of work” goes into each episode says the Twits’ manager, who has a background in film production that stretches from his college days to the present. He currently works for Qorvis, a communications and public relations company based in Washington, where he’s responsible for shooting and editing all of the firm’s videos.
Luckily, those professional skills translate perfectly to HK:PW. Hudson says he’s been fortunate to get some help from a few videographers, but beyond that, it’s pretty much up to him to script out, direct and edit down all the footage for each episode – a process that took up to a week, at least in the case of the “Pilot”.
Hudson promises that the long wait in between Episode 1 and the rest of the first season will be well worth it.
“We have a new teammate who joined our team at the last minute — literally got the call to play and he answered it. That will be showcased in Episode 2,” he says. “Some drama I can allude to is cutting players, no-names stepping up and the behind-the-scenes conversations I have with my [team].
“All will be revealed!”
Hudson maintains that he’s laser-focused on this season, both on the field and in the editing room, but it doesn’t take a Christopher Nolan-type visionary to imagine the possibilities going forward. HBO’s far inferior version of Hard Knocks bounces around from team to team each year, and while Hudson says he’d find it “tough” to turn the cameras on another team in the league (mostly because he thinks he’d have to stop playing for the Twits), it’s not as if he hasn’t imagined what it would be like.
“I can tell you Scared Hitless signing Alex would be an amazing episode,” he says, referring to Scared Hitless’ stunning free-agent acquisition of Alex Filides this week. “But I’d love to feature Superman’s Wheelchair because of the tradition behind them. Best player in the league with [Joe] Thaman, [it] would be a great season to see.”
For now, though, the cameras are focused squarely on the Twits, and one episode in, there’s plenty to like about HK: PW.