That Championship Season was only the second full-length play written by playwright Jason Miller and was by far his most successful. Miller was primarily an actor (The Exorcist), who wrote plays on the side. In 1973, by winning a Pulitzer Prize for the play, Miller was lifted out of obscurity. Jason Miller’s That Championship Season was regarded as one of the more important plays of its time.
The play ran for a total of 988 performances before it closed on April 21, 1974.
That Championship Season won numerous awards, including:
From its earliest productions, That Championship Season was widely praised by critics, though a few dissenters had problems with certain aspects of the play. Those who like the play compliment its humor, dialogue, and characters. Reviewing the Broadway production, Clive Barnes of the New York Times writes, "Mr. Miller has a perfect ear and instinct for the rough and tumble profanity of locker-room humor. The coarsely elegant gibes go along with Mr. Miller’s indictment of a society, which opens with an ironic playing of the National Anthem and then lacerates the sickness of small-town America full of bigotry, double-dealing, racism and hate."
Film and television
For years Miller worked on bringing his play to film.