Showcasing the lives and careers of legendary players, coaches, and executives, NFL Films examines the untold stories of the most influential NFL icons. Each film tells the story of how the individual's legacy is forever intertwined in the fabric of NFL history. On September 29 at 5:30 p.m. PT, the world-premiere of NFL Film's "NFL Films Presents" featuring Takeo Spikes will air on Fox Sports 1.
After a stellar 15-year NFL career as defensive linebacker playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and San Diego Chargers, Takeo Spikes retired from playing on the field, but has not retired from football. The first-round draft pick, 200 career starts, 12-time team captain, 2-time All Pro, and 2-time Pro Bowl player is not done leaving his mark on American Football. Takeo is author, photographer, and producer of a seminal book series and short videos profiling the greatest NFL players of all time. His first volume in the series will profile the position closest to his heart: linebackers. Takeo will share with the world interviews and photographs of 12 of the most influential and impressive linebackers to ever play the game, including Ray Lewis and Chuck Bednarik.
Because of his respected NFL career, the players granted Takeo Spikes unprecedented access to photograph and film their private lives. The insights from the players is focused on one topic: How they achieved greatness that was well outside the norm. Takeo is compiling the original photographs and interviews into his first published book that will serve as a tribute to linebackers, football's toughest gridiron warriors.
Former NFL players choose myriad paths upon retirement, Takeo's uncommon path as an artist and author will be shared by NFL Films on September 29. Takeo says, "I am honored that NFL Films is capturing my dual passions of photography and storytelling. I believe strongly that as Maya Angelou said, 'There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.' I can't wait to share the special stories of the greatest linebackers with the world. And thanks to NFL films, everyone will get a sneak peak of the book in progress."
NFL Films "NFL Films Presents" documents Takeo's passion and process as an artist and author. Takeo started taking photographs as a hobby while still playing. Upon retiring, he has worked with one of the most prolific photographers in the southeast to learn the technical mechanics of the craft. Takeo has taken photos professionally including headshots, sporting events, travel photography, and family portraits. He's now turned his lens on these Hall of Fame players. Takeo believes these players' stories should be told by another player – uncensored and with the honesty and respect that only another player can bring. These stories need to be told for the players, for the game, and to document the greatest athletes of all time as a part of American history.