Over the weekend, NBCSN premiered the first part of a four part series on the behind the scenes dealings of Crystal Palace. Narrated by Gary Lineker with his production company Goalhanger Films, Crystal Palace – Behind the Badge follows the team through anything and everything that surrounds an English Premier League team. NBC Sports claims the documentary series is similar to HBO’s Hard Knocks with the NFL. While that’s true, a soccer specific example that’s comparable would be FOX Sports’ Being: Liverpool series from a few years ago.
While Crystal Palace is thrilled they are getting the exposure, it’s probably coming at the worst possible time for them. Cameras are apparently currently at the Palace facilities filming for future episodes and they are in the middle of a five game EPL winless streak in which they haven’t scored a goal since December 19. At least if anything, the series will show a team when they’re at their lowest and trying to get their form back on track. That has to account for some pretty good footage.
Episode one was all about Palace’s game against Southampton in the FA Cup, ironically during the only game they won in this month long slump. You see Crystal Palace have to adjust to the busy December and January months. Part one shows their preparation before the game.
Part two has Crystal Palace in Southampton, as they go through some pregame prep at the team hotel the night before the game.
Part three is the game itself, as Crystal Palace held on to the 2-1 win and advance to the fourth round.
This was a pretty good first episode that went into many areas of the team. In addition to Alan Pardew and the team, this episode takes you into the kit room, the academy and to the front offices, where the team prepares their programs. It’s a great eye opening look into how a Premier League team runs, in as close to real time as the filmmakers can. Next week’s episode shows Palace playing against Aston Villa from last Tuesday and suffering a 1-0 loss to the last place team in the EPL.
Episode two of Crystal Palace – Behind the Badge will premiere Sunday January 24 at 1:30 PM ET.