Director Kyle Thrash makes a promising debut in Maybe Next Year. Since 1776, Philadelphia has existed in the shadows of New York City, and Washington D.C. Counted out and overlooked, Philadelphians turned to football as a way to let out their frustrations. After 58 years of coming up short, a Super Bowl title has become Philly’s Holy Grail. What started as the most promising year in decades, the 2017 season quickly unraveled with their MVP quarterback’s season-ending injury. With the deck stacked against them, an “underdog” city bands together and put their faith in an unlikely backup.
From throwing snowballs at Santa Claus to having a jail in their stadium, this fan base has earned their title of “worst in the NFL.” MAYBE NEXT YEAR peels back the veil and offers an intimate look at the lives of four very different and very dedicated Eagles fans, unified by their commitment to family, unwavering passion, and the shared dream of becoming Super Bowl Champions. Eagle’s fans paint their portrait of what brotherly love truly means in the best comeback sports story in years.
Clocking in at brisk eighty-two minutes is a documentary that even non-football fans can enjoy as it’s a great underdog story. I’m not a football or sports fan; however, I do remember the year that the Eagles beat the Patriots. One of the things I loved about the documentary was Kyle’s passion for his team and the fans and how the city of Brotherly love.
Thrash showcases Philadelphia’s iconic spots as well as four other vital fans. At its core, Maybe Next Year is a character study that focuses on four die-hard fans. There’s working mom “Eagle Shirley,” retiree Barry, wild man Bryant, and every man Jesse. Thrash’s strength is the way he equally focuses on the different aspects of fandom.
I also commend Thrash for not focusing on the negative aspects we often hear about with the Philly sports team. Thrash is a skilled director, and I look forward to seeing what he can do with a narrative feature.
When the Eagles do get their victory over the Patriots as the film begins to close out, I was taken back to their win back in 2018. Maybe Next Year is not only a great debut but one of my favorite documentaries of the year.
Final Grade A –
Maybe Next Year is available On Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, and Vimeo on Demand.
My exclusive interview with director Kyle Thrash can be heard HERE.