“It is a true story, inspired by a true story”, said the ‘Love Simon‘ producer Robbie Rogers while talking to ESPN. ‘All American‘ is an American sports drama series created by April Blaire and produced by Robbie Rogers. In January 2023, the series got renewed for a sixth season. More than a merely fictional series, the audience loves to watch something that is inspired by real events. The audience is always in it for spice!
All American is inspired and loosely based on the real-life of the NFL linebacker, Spencer Paysinger. Despite being based on real events, the network alters the story making it a little fictional. But the series is a good hybrid of Paysinger’s real-life events and the producer’s creativity. ‘All American‘ is a coming-of-age story that stages its main character in the middle of a series of struggles that nearly everyone can relate to.
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Who Is Spencer Paysinger, The Man Who Inspired ‘All American’ Series?
The sports drama series ‘All American‘ is inspired by the life events of NFL linebacker Spencer Paysinger. Paysinger grew up and originally attended school in South Central LA, before being recruited by the Beverly Hills High coach. As a teen, he played football at Beverly Hills High as part of Beverly Hills’ multicultural program. From 2011 to 2017 Paysinger played for the NFL, spending most of his time as part of the Miami Dolphins and New York. By the time he reached the peak of his career, Paysinger was all set to leave the game. In an ESPN article, Paysinger said, “I remember sitting in my locker that day, packing all my stuff, smiling. I never wanted football to be my highest peak”.
Before retiring Spencer Paysinger developed and pitched a show to Robbie Roberts. The script was inspired by his time as a high school football player for Beverly Hills High School. ‘All American‘ stars Daniel Ezra as the NFL linebacker Spencer Paysinger. The show merges the two affluent worlds of Paysinger – life at Beverly Hills and the world of South Central Los Angles. The series also stars Bre-Z, Samantha Logan, Cody Christian, and Taye Diggs in the lead. The series also has a spin-off called ‘All American: Homecoming‘ starring Geffri Maya as Simone Hicks.
The Real Vs Reel Spencer
Though the ‘All-American‘ is inspired by the life of an NFL star, the producers induced a creative twist making it interesting and glamorous. Starting with the name itself- the writers changed Spencer Paysinger to Spencer James. In the series, James leaves his family and moves in with Coach Baker and his family for his career in the game. Meanwhile in the real life Paysinger, never left his family to attend Beverly Hills.
Paysinger and James also play different positions on the field. While Paysinger was a wide receiver, meanwhile James is even more versatile as he plays receiver, defensive back, and even a kicker. In the real life, Paysinger’s father Douglas is alive and also the assistant coach of Beverly Hills. And in the series, James’ father Corey passes away from a lifelong illness. Spencer Paysinger commented on these changes, “We’re a lot more similar on these different sides of the track than you guys think.”