Project 11 debuts tonight and will leave many stunned. The latest in the award-winning E60 series on ESPN gives viewers unprecedented access to Alex Smith as he attempts to recover from a gruesome compound fracture. What makes this special jaw-dropping isn’t’ the nature of Smith’s injury but what transpires after. Plenty of players have dealt with injuries; very few have faced life-threatening complications. The team at E60 captures the severity of what occurred by bringing in a host of doctors who worked on Smith’s recovery. They go into such detail that there were portions of the episode that are tough to stomach.
For Alex, it wasn’t the break but the infection which shortly followed. What’s mind-boggling is how quickly things deteriorated. What was meant to be a short stay in the hospital ended up being a fight for his life. How did this All-Pro end up having to combat flesh-eating bacteria and undergoing a total of 17 individual procedures before he reaches some sense of normalcy? The episode placed the focus on Smith’s desire to be an active father and husband once more.
What I walked away with after watching the episode was just how positive Smith and his family were through all of this. Most of us have seen people wilt under lesser circumstances. Project 11 certainly is worth your time tonight, but be prepared to stomach some intense images.