The Sundance Channel began airing an eight-part documentary called "Nimrod Nation" tonight. The series chronicles the 2005-2006 boys basketball season in Watersmeet, Mich., home of the Nimrods (a biblical term for a hunter). The connection to this blog is tenuous--we camped last Memorial Day weekend about an hour from Watersmeet, which is in the rugged Ottawa National Forest and 375 miles north of Chicago.
The preview of the series was promising, and tonight's segments delivered nicely. Nothing ever could match "Hoop Dreams," but "Nimrod Nation" is definitely better than "Go Tigers," a documentary about football in Massillon, Ohio. One documentary that rivals "Hoop Dreams" is the PBS-produced "Country Boys," which follows the lives of two teens in eastern Kentucky during several years. There isn't a sports angle in "Country Boys," but it too traces the travails of young people in rural or low-income settings.