After nearly a year and a half of filming, the producers had a final cut of the film completed by mid-June 2003. The producers hosted a swanky (catered!) private premiere for the owners of the CFCL, then scheduled the public World Premiere for the evening of July 13 in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Cassidy Theater (listed as #6 on Crain’s Chicago Business’ “10 Things To Do This Weekend”!).
Seven CFCL owners and their groupies (family and close friends) attended the premiere, forming part of a 250+ member audience. The film was very well received, and after the credits rolled, the four producers took the stage to an extended ovation. After they said a few words, they called the seven CFCL owners in attendance up to the stage, and we were greeted with a shockingly enthusiastic standing ovation. There was a brief Q&A, during which we each got to field some questions from the crowd.
Here’s the Roster Change report from the following week where I described the experience:
Above, I noted that seven CFCL owners attended the premiere. Actually, there were eight CFCL owners in attendance that night … future CFCLer Kenn Ruby was there as well.
Kenn wrote a brief article about Trading the Gator, which was published in Chicago Magazine (see below). Months later, during the 2003 off-season, the CFCL advertised for owners to fill a couple openings. Kenn applied and joined the CFCL for the 2004 season.
“Trading the Gator” producers Sara Berliner, Casey Morris, Brad Morris, and Nick Barrionuevo (click to embiggen):
To close this post, here are the opening 4 minutes of Trading the Gator. Appearing in the opening are CFCL owners Eric Lamb, Paul Zeledon, and David Mahlan; original Rotisserie League owners Dan Okrent, Valerie Salembier, and Glenn Waggoner; and fantasy league superfan, Walter Shapiro.