Durango resident Jim Stevens has a special set of skills. First, as a former professional foosball player, he turned plastic men on rods into a team that could make the ball blur across the table. (Yes, foosball is a professional sport.)
Then, he became the only professional foosball commentator in the world and a prominent figure in the recently released documentary, “Foosballers.”
“Foosballers” follows six of the world’s best players to the world championships, where they battle for the title while Stevens gives a play-by-play commentary. Released Feb. 13 to streaming platforms, the documentary elevates the sport that had its initial rise in the 1970s.
“Most people don’t know that pro foosball even exists,” Stevens said. “But there’s this really high level of competition that most people don’t know about.
“The entire foosball public is really on a high right now after the release,” Stevens said.
During his 27 years as a commentator, Stevens has traveled to China, 14 countries in Europe and all over North America commentating on competitive events. He even met his wife, Amy Eckhart Stevens, another pro player, through the sport.
He caught “foosball fever” when he was a teenager. Then, he played at the highest level during the historic million-dollar competitive tour, when foosball was one of the top 10 sports in the U.S. in the late 1970s.
“Foosballers” features the sport’s unique history and the drama of intense competition – not to mention trick shots and a ball moving so fast it’s difficult to follow.
“That’s what’s really exciting, I think, is raising the general public profile of what we think is a pretty cool thing,” he said.
Any locals looking to play can step up to the tables at The Garage, 121 W. Eighth St., on Thursday nights.