The 2004 title Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is one of the those comedies that seems to get better with age. Frat Pack regulars Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn would take the obscure sport into the mainstream as they pitted Average Joe's owner Peter LaFleur against comically evil White Goodman from Globo Gym.
Yet one of the most memorable features of the movie would be the supporting cast of Gary Cole (Cotton McKnight) and Jason Bateman (Pepper Brooks), with both men portraying commentators on the fictional network ESPN8: The Ocho. 13 years after the release of the film, ESPN will be changing their ESPNU channel for one day only on 8/8 in homage to the comedy.
From Fringe to Front Row - The Ocho Lives!
While neither Bateman or Cole will be involved in the 24-hour broadcast, ESPN were keen enough to make the announcement official.
"Drawing inspiration from the 2004 hit movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story featuring Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller, ESPNU will become ESPN8: 'The Ocho' on Tuesday, August 8, or more appropriately, 8/8," they explained. "For one day only, the faux network will feature a line-up of unconventional sporting events ranging from Disc Golf to Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball and Firefighters World Challenge playing off the mantra highlighted in the movie: 'Bringing you the Finest in Seldom Seen Sports.'"
August 8 programming for ESPN8: The Ocho:
Midnight - 2016 American Disc Golf Championship
2 a.m. - 2016 WFTDA Roller Derby Championships
4 a.m. - 2016 Sky Zone Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball
5:30 a.m. - Firefighters World Challenge XXV
8 a.m. 2016 - Kabaddi World Cup Final
9 a.m. - World Darts Championship
11:30 a.m. - Arm Wrestling: Best of WAL 2016 Championship
12:30 p.m. - 2017 Championship of Bags
2:30 p.m. - EVO 2017 World Championship - Street Fighter
5:00 p.m. - Moxie Games
7 p.m. - U.S. Open Ultimate Championship
Goodman vs. LaFleur in 2017 All For a Good Cause
Back in June, the star of the show managed to get the gang back together for his Stiller Foundation. Recalling the reunion with Entertainment Weekly, the 51-year old said it was the next closest thing to a sequel.
"It was really strange and fun," Stiller admitted. "I didn't know what it would be like, because I was away from it for so long and I never really thought there would be any reason to do the character again, but then when this opportunity came up, especially talking to Omaze and what good ideas for fundraising there would be, over the years we've been aware of people who are fans of the movie and their connection with it, which I've appreciated. It's fun to connect with people on something like that, like at Halloween, I see people dressed up as the movie and things like that."
All parties were eager to suit up again, from the director to his old friends Vaughn, Long and even his ex-partner Christine Taylor.
"To me, it was really important when we said we could do it, the first person I called was Rawson Thurber, who wrote and directed the movie, and said, 'Hey would you get on board with this thing? If you would write and direct this thing, we could put the band back together.' That was the key to it, these things don't exist in a vacuum in terms of the writing and situation. Once Rawson said yes, I called Vince (Vaughn) up, and he immediately said, 'I'm in, let's do it, it's for a good cause.' Then we got Justin Long and Christine Taylor and Missi Pyle and everybody; it was really exciting for us all to get back together. So we got our Halloween costumes, and luckily it's Spandex so it all still kind of fit."