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Reviews and Media Coverage

The New York Times"warm and illuminating... told with deftness and emotion...priceless" -           Richard Sandomir, The New York Times.  Click here to read the article.

"fantastic" - Bill Littlefield, host of NPR's "Only a Game." 

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes"Like heartwarming stories? There are 9 of them here...Shaq, among other things, tries to teach his mom how to ride his Harley. Possibly the best segment features blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer and his father...- Larry Stewart, Los Angeles Times

"Worth a replay - "Apple Pie" a Mother's Day show on ESPN... included Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe teaching his mom to throw spirals.  She spit on her hands first, explaining she's "seen that done one TV." - Michael Hiestand, USA Today.  Click here: USATODAY.com

An Entertainment Weekly Recommended Pick

 "this is an excellent documentary... our bosses don't like it when we recommend other networks, but tune in to "Apple Pie" on ESPN and then come right back to CNN..." - Miles O'Brien, CNN Sunday Morning

The Boston Globe "this is one for you...It's filled with material that doesn't come out of locker room interviews; Mazzio tells the stories that come out only when a skilled interviewer visits the family home and people talk comfortably..." - Bill Griffith, The Boston Globe Click here for article.

"::"home::"Fanatics with tunnel vision on the big games for the Celtics...and the Red Sox on ESPN tonight would be well advised to take a TV timeout for mother. Mary Mazzio, a richly talented producer...provides a special tribute with star athletes and their moms on ESPN Classics "Apple Pie" on 7:30pm. - Jim Baker, The Boston Herald

"The power of moms is the subject of this slice-of-life documentary, which focuses on star athletes and the women who raised them..." - Today's Picks, TV Guide

"a wonderful documentary film"—Mark Ockerbloom, NECN Sports Anchor. 

"This beautiful piece of work is unlike the games-laden fare usually found on ESPN. And what a nice break to hear sensitive interview with the matriarchs, many of whom have had to overcome obstacles far tougher than losing a playoff game." - Cablefax Daily

"Mazzio never does anything halfway.  Passionate, visionary, and bent on social change... - Helen Graves, Boston Herald Women's Business

"What Smokes... "Apple Pie," an ESPN Original Production saluting the moms of star athletes..." -  Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News

"a winner... it'll bring you to tears" - Bob Lobel, Channel 4 Sports Anchor and host of Sports Final

ESPN Classic features Apple Pie, click here

NFL.com features Apple Pie

"Mother's Day may be two weeks away, but our neighbors in Bristol already are arranging the flowers....ESPN...will profile real moms of pro stars in a documentary "Apple Pie." Sweet. No wonder ESPN got a great big hug Tuesday, winning seven Sports Emmy Awards..."- John Howell, The Hartford Courant

 "Sarah Fisher may have been clocked at 227 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but on a public highway? She confesses to no more than 80 mph -- with her mother, Reba, tugging at her sleeve, telling her to slow down. That is among the surprises at 11 a.m. today on "Apple Pie," an ESPN special that takes a look at some famous athletes and their moms. Mary Mazzio, who wrote, directed and produced the 90-minute show, said Sarah's lack of highway experimentation, shall we say, was one of the biggest surprises she uncovered while working on the program. "I've gone more than 80 miles an hour on a highway," Mazzio said... But you may be surprised to learn the obsession with speed and adventure started even before then. Sarah's grandmother was one of the first female aviators in Ohio... Mazzio—an Olympic rower at the 1992 Barcelona Games -- said she wanted to do a show that would inspire children by showing them the obstacles the athletes had to overcome, and how their mothers had helped them do that." - John O'Neill, Indianapolis Star

News"heartwarming...sweet...at the show's end, we hear Shaq say he will work in law enforcement when his basketball days are over. That must be terrifying news for crooks - and their mothers, too..." -Jerry Greene, Orlando Sentinel

Sun-Sentinel.com"Mother's Day Salute" - Jim Sarni, Sun-Sentinel.

"Guaranteeing the weekend some sugar is "Apple Pie," a documentary on athletes and their moms (7:30pm Sunday, ESPN Classic).  Artificial sweetener?  Well, producer Mary Mazzio acknowledges she looked for positive stories. "These athletes got to where they are from strength and inspiration from their mothers," says Mazzio, a former Olympic rower. The one you haven't heard of provides the best tale.  Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind climber to stand atop Mount Everest after losing his sight...also, in a twist of like-mother, like-daughter, Lark Chastain does a Brandi impression..." -Mike Tierney, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Other television/radio/web/print coverage included CNN Headline News with Sashi Koto and Mary Mazzio; CNN Sunday Morning with Miles O'Brien, Grant Hill, Janet Hill, and Mary Mazzio; NECN with Mark Ockerbloom, Mac Bledsoe, and Mary Mazzio; Sports Final with Bob Lobel and Mary Mazzio; NPR's "Only A Game" with Bill Littlefield, Barbara Bledsoe, and Mary Mazzio; TALK 96.6 with Gary Tanguay and Mary Mazzio; ESPN Radio; RadioSports Center (ESPN); Baseball Tonight (ESPN); NPR's "She Got Game;" The Dallas Morning News; The Arizona Republic; The Ventura County Star; The Beacon Journal (Ohio); The Riverside Press-Enterprise; The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; The Buffalo News; The Press-Enterprise (CA); The Improper Bostonian; Detroit WWJ.50 News Radio; ESPN.com; NFL.com; IndyRacingLeague.com; MotorsportsTV.com; DrewBledsoe.com; GrantHill.com; SarahFisher.com; RulonGardner.com; GirlsontheRun.com; TouchtheTop.com; and NewBalance.com.

Viewer Feedback

"the work you do is a treasure to behold..." - Michele Norris, ABC News/NPR Host

"a very well done piece... you should be proud.." - Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated columnist

"another great production" - Barbara Huebner, former Boston Globe columnist

"I have to thank Mary Mazzio for what she has created... amazing..." - NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe at the 2002 Parenting with Dignity Foundation Dinner

"we are all jammed into a conference room laughing and tearing up over LEMONADE and APPLE PIE. thank you! - Derrick Wood, VP - Creative Director, Staples

"I love your documentaries.  They are the best in the world.  I also love you, too." - the unbiased opinion of the filmmaker's son, Jamie Mazzio-Manson

"Mary Mazzio was an Olympic rower and she's made a film about these mothers, including her own.  She tells [in The New York Times] "I was the kind of athlete who was cut from every team possible...  Coaches told me I was too weak or too short or too slow, but my mother always told me 'hang in, Mary, hang in,' so I realized sometimes the real heroes are often sitting next to you on the sofa."  Today's sermon is a tribute to those people who have sat on the sofas in our lives...the best advice, the truest wisdom is right next to you....let God lead you to the Rock which is higher... - Rev. David J. Rowe, in a sermon on Mother's Day, May 12, 2002, at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, Fairfield, CT

"I really liked watching the film about Drew Bledsoe.  He was a great sport, helping Tom Brady out and not being a cry baby that he couldn't play." - Ethan Hawes, 5th grader

"excellent" - Janet Hill, consultant and mother of Grant Hill

"it was great" - Grant Hill, NBA All-Star, over satellite phone, courtesy of CNN

"I laughed and cried. What a beautiful and moving piece of artistry. Congratulations for making us stop and think about how much women really are the backbone of this great country..."- Chickie Abdullah, grandmother

"a wonderful, moving piece.  I watched it with my wife and two daughters (11 and 8).  They are big time into soccer and loved the segments on Mia and Chastain.  I thought the whole thing was fantastic..." - Dan Newman, soccer dad

"Watched it with our grandson, aged 11, who loves football. Naturally, his favorite part was Drew and his mother.  We loved the whole thing.  Keep them coming." - Jane Dewey, grandmother

"I will never be able to thank you enough nor will I ever forget what you have created, Mary..." - Barbara Bledsoe, former English teacher and co-chair of Parenting with Dignity Foundation

"I was getting ready to go to the airport when the show came on.  Next thing I knew, I was in tears,  To hear my boys talk about how much they love their mother... we did something right.  It reminded me that I am the luckiest man alive to have married a woman like Barbara.." - Mac Bledsoe, husband of Barbara Bledsoe and father of Drew Bledsoe, Parenting with Dignity Foundation Dinner

"I had to hold back the tears at the end when every was telling their mothers they loved them..." - Diane George, legal assistant

"wonderful" - Reba Fisher, ex go-kart racer and mother of Sarah Fisher

"Wow...fabulous!!!" - Ed Weihenmayer, former Vietnam fighter pilot and father of climber Erik Weihenmayer, first blind climber to summit Mount Everest

"wonderful...we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the special...we will cherish it always." - Natalie Granato, mother of former NHL All-Star Tony Granato and Olympic Hockey Gold Medalist, Cammi Granato

"my mother and I cried through the entire thing" - Rulon Gardner, Olympic Champion

"I had fun watching Apple Pie. I am not a very athletic person and up until your assembly, I was not interested in becoming one.  Now I know there is a sport out there for me." - Trudy Kaiser, 5th grader

"great show!" - Michael Suttle, Rulon Gardner's agent

"I LOVED Apple Pie." - M. Burch Tracy Ford, Head of School - Miss Porter's School

"EXCELLENT!  Outstanding, moving, and creative... I thought it was pretty cool to see the likes of Shaq talking about how important his mom is to him... a refreshing change of pace... - Ali Segal, Committee of 200, Chicago, IL

"Words of encouragement for women and men need to be offered on a regular basis from the church... [In] "Apple Pie: Raising Champions,"... Mary Mazzio focuses on the real heroes in the life of an athlete...Lofton is the center fielder for the Chicago White Sox... "The proudest day of my life," he said, was when I bought my grandma a house."  ... [Erik Weihenmayer] lost his sight at age 13; his mother, Ellen, died three years later.  With his father and brothers, he found an outlet on mountains he could not see.  Last year he became the first blind climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest.  This is what he thinks of his mother: " When I look for her, it is when I touch granite warmed by the sun, or she's the crunch of snow beneath my feet."  Wow!  What an image of strength and warmth.  We need to shout words of encouragement, because Christ encourages us to seek a glory that is beyond us!" - Rev. Dr. K. Edward Brandt, in "A Reflection from Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church," Wilmington, Delaware

"I really liked Apple Pie.  I saw Mia Hamm [segment] during recess and loved it.  I like that you kept persevering to get to the Olympic Team.  I would keep trying and trying until I made it.  You inspired me to never give up." - Meghan Borden, 5th grader

"I watched your film, "Apple Pie," and was very emotional during the entire broadcast.  It was a beautiful documentary..." - Stephanie Corner, Harvard Magazine

"Loved it" - Robin Sheppard, Associate Athletic Director, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

"I love how you didn't just talk about how Drew helped Tom Brady, but you actually talked about his life and how he grew up... I really thought about how you persevered and reflected on it, because I don't have much perseverance and I learned from what you did and it really inspired me." -- Adam Haywood, 5th grader

"I really enjoyed your story.  It had a great influence on me to never give up on dreams.  You kept rowing even though people insulted you by calling you horrible, slow, a dork, and not strong.  You showed people by going to the Olympics.  Maybe I will go to Major League Soccer and you'll interview me!" - Patrick Pierre-Victor, 5th grader

"great" - Bill Becklean, gold medalist - 1956 Olympics

"I loved it.  Awesome." - Mike Sheetz, attorney

"The movie was marvelous.  You gave me hope that I can become a better athlete if I work hard enough.  I am sure other kids feel the same way." - Sharon Roth, 5th grader

"My mom loved "apple pie" ... we were ballin' our eyes out..." - Matt McIntosh, screenwriter

"I was overwhelmed with emotion and found it very inspiring. Thank you for your fantastic work..." - Cheryl Vince Whitman, Educational Development Corporation

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Press Releases
View a copy of the press release for Apple Pie
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