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Man travels to each NFL track in VW outpost in new documentary

Rhett Grametbauer was down on his luck. His office of a PhD was not going well, his matrimony was over and he wanted to “change a account of his life.”

“It was possibly football or a PhD and we chose football,” Grametbauer said. “Ever given we was a small kid, and you’d watch NFL Films with Steve Sabol and we thought, wouldn’t it be good to watch a diversion in St. Louis or wouldn’t it be good to go here? And so, we finally got sleepy of wondering.”

So Grametbauer strike a highway and went to a football game. Thirty-two of them, actually.

Over 16-week camber during a 2013 NFL season, Grametbauer gathering a 1967 Volkswagen outpost named “Hail Mary” opposite a nation with determined TV horde Grayson Berry and cameraman Eric Carpenter and visited any NFL stadium, fulfilling a life’s dream and a electioneer to do something epic with his life.

What they unequivocally wanted to do was sell a thought as a commander for a sports transport TV show, though with no takers, a finish outcome — a documentary “25,000 Miles to Glory” and Grametbauer’s stirring book about a tour — stands as a latest glance into America’s adore event with a diversion of football.

The film chronicles their cross-country highway trip, noted by noted conversations with fans in any city and copiousness of difficulty gripping that aged VW train on a road.

“I wanted to do it since we was sleepy of not vital a dream,” Grametbauer said. “I don’t remember ever not being a football fan … It’s always been a partial of my life and to see these places in chairman is something we always wanted to do. But we also wanted to uncover my kids what can occur if we trust in something and you’re not fearful to leave your driveway.”

His sons Chandler, 7, and Roman, 13, during a time of a trip, are from his marriage, that finished in 2011.

“Maybe they can demeanour during me as an instance and whatever their dream is — hopefully it’s not pushing around in a ‘67 VW train — though hopefully they have a bravery to pursue their dreams,” Grametbauer said. “If we can get that out of it, afterwards it was all value it.”

Grametbauer designed his outing around Thursday and Monday night NFL games and plotted a tour where he could strike 3 circuitously cities in a singular week. He also wanted to equivocate carrying to expostulate a VW train adult a Rocky Mountains in a cold-weather months.

Stills from a documentary about Rhett Grametbauer who went to 32 NFL stadiums in a VW van.

Stills from a documentary about Rhett Grametbauer who went to 32 NFL stadiums in a VW van.

(Courtesy of Rhett Grametbauer)

Looking back, wasn’t there a improved choice of car for creation such a prolonged expostulate than a breakdown-prone relic?

“There’s zero like pushing it when it runs, though there’s zero like it when it breaks down on a side of a highway either,” Grametbauer said. “When we didn’t have it, we were usually guys going down a road. But when we had it, people interacted with it. Everybody has a VW story, either it’s a Beetle or a train or whatnot. And she combined something to a trip: danger. we wouldn’t have finished it though it.”

The train has a vast purpose in a documentary, though a star of a uncover is football and a ardour with a game. That adore is clearly stronger in some pockets of a country.

“Some of a best places on a outing were a places we was looking brazen to a slightest like Buffalo and Cleveland,” Grametbauer said.

“Buffalo is such a blue-collar city and that team, nonetheless they’ve been to 4 Super Bowls, they haven’t won anything really. They have a Sabres in hockey, though they don’t have any other veteran sports group there and it’s usually a fastening knowledge for everybody concerned and how dear a Bills are. To be honest, they don’t mount a good possibility of winning in any given year, so it’s arrange of a same thing as Cleveland where they’ve won NFL championships, though they’ve never won a Super Bowl or even been in one. And nonetheless they kick a Bills on a Thursday night and it was like they won a Super Bowl. They usually applaud football.”

Finding revolutionary fans in any city was comparatively easy. Grametbauer and his organisation walked parking lots looking for tailgate parties. Just about any NFL group also has a “celebrity fan” like Fireman Ed with a Jets, who stands out from a crowd. In Philadelphia, one of those fans is Sean Young, who shows adult on Sundays in full pads and immature face paint though is famous to revisit children’s hospitals and assistance internal charities during a week.

Without question, football has transposed ball as a inhabitant pastime. In visiting all 32 NFL stadiums, Grametbauer saw firsthand since a NFL reigns autarchic around a country.

“I consider since it’s singly American,” he said. “When we was flourishing up, it was a Sunday day thing so families got together to watch whatever their group was. we consider a other sports play so many games, it’s tough to get everybody connected during one time, though football is means to do that. They play on Thanksgiving and it’s by a holidays, though we consider it’s a village that’s built around it and a fact we can usually do it once a week.”

Or, in his case, we can dump everything, strike a road, and do it 32 times over a march of an whole NFL season.

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