Diary of a Producer: What is Chinese for Exhaustion and Bed Rest?

SHANGHAI, CHINA – For the first time in four months, I have had more than one day off in a row. Forcing myself to rest and sleep this much feels almost as difficult as work itself.

I finally discovered and hit my real wall last week. I have hit walls in the past (like two days of severe exhaustion after working 20+hours a day for two weeks in preparing the Gridiron TV feature documentary ‘Our Year.’ 

However, I have never had such a reaction as I did on this tour. I was fortunate to be close to an excellent CAFL medical team, who have also been caring for all the players (and indeed, some of the staff who have hit bumps along the road).

In ten years of playing football, I broke myself several times but kept going.

When moving to China I had to give up a whole life and start again, but I kept going. And in the last few months I have been stretched in every professional and personal direction of my life, but I stay on the grind – for the same reason many people I meet do – because I want to continue to do what I love, be successful in what I do and set a reputation for my work.

CAFL medical team profile

Hopefully my time working so far with American Football in China (NFL China, AFLC, and CAFL) has done that, and I will surely try to continue as football starts blossoming across the country, as well as fitting in everything else along the way.

Watching from home during Week 5 – Shenzhen

In my house-bound week, I have kept sane by remaining in partial working mode through some social media networking and promoting which has given me a chance to really study to breadth of the conversation that people are having about the CAFL online.

It’s always nice to see that your work is making a difference, and with hundreds of tweets, messages & articles published about the season it is a bit clearer now that the ball-busting and wall-breaking efforts of the media team have not gone un-noticed.

This week we are in championship mode – the CAFL Super Series 2016 culminates in the China Bowl, held in my new home city of Shanghai, the capital of football in China.

With all of the teams now at their final stop of the season, it is a chance for them to experience one more view of China and meet some more of their new fans before returning home for whatever lies ahead and recapping on a historic (and no doubt, life-changing) season for American and Chinese players alike.


Players arriving at their Shanghai hotel location

This is going to be the pinnacle of the season, and the crown for everyone involved. Expect to see more special content from the media team, and if you have missed any of the season you should visit the league’s YouTube page to learn more about the teams and the games that have passed so far.

Read more of Allan’s journey here.

Week 4
Peyton Manning & the Great Wall
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Allan was the Presenter and Co-Producer of Gridiron TV for 4 years, and also spent 10 years playing football in the UK, both at university & adult level, with 107 combined games in his career (on offense, defense and special teams). Allan is now