Oh, what might have been for Jim Overdorf.
If not for tax breaks in Ohio, the Buffalo Bills’ under-the-radar contract negotiator would have been movie star Jennifer Garner’s muse.
Garner was a guest with “TSN Drive” host Dave Naylor and me today at the Super Bowl media center in Manhattan. She was on Radio Row to promote the movie “Draft Day,” in which she and co-star Kevin Costner try to salvage the Cleveland Browns.
The Bills were supposed to be that team. Overdorf should have been the person Garner partnered with to research her role.
“Draft Day” director Ivan Reitman, who grew up in Toronto, wanted the film to be about the Bills and shot in Western New York. But a source told The Buffalo News the production reportedly saved $3 million by moving in Ohio instead.
Rather than shadow Overdorf, Garner spent her time studying Browns legal affairs director Megan Rogers to learn what being a capologist is all about.
“It’s tough,” Garner said. “It’s for lawyers. It’s a business affairs-kind of game, but there’s so much more art to it than that. … But you kind of have to have a million different kind of jobs rolled into one to be a capologist.
“I just basically stalked Megan Rogers, who runs the salary cap for the Cleveland Browns and followed her around and made her explain it to me over and over again and had lunch with her and took pictures of her desk. Then she would say, ‘That’s all confidential!’ I’d say, ‘I don’t care what’s written down. I just want my desk to look like yours. I’m just pretending.’ ”
Depicting a troubled organization was important to build “Draft Day” drama. The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs 14 straight years. The Browns are among the NFL’s most dysfunctional clubs.
“It made sense for us to be in a city like Cleveland or like Buffalo,” Garner said, “where the fans are beleaguered and the team is on its way back up.”