So the common theme in a good football movie is that it is more than just a sport. For whatever reason...football is a big part of the characters' lives. For this reason I have chosen Remember the Titans for tonight's post on football movies.
Remember the Titans is a surprisingly good football movie. The first reason that I didn't expect it to work is because it is a Walt Disney Film....and that fact alone put it's credibility in question. The next reason is because it was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. If you want an action movie with amazing special effects and incredible sound...Jerry is your man. Somehow this seemed like a strange choice of movie for Jerry to sign on for. Finally...the last main reason that I had my doubts about this movie is because it was based on a real story. I love movies based on real stories but I assumed that too much emphasis would be placed on the history and there would not enough football action. I was wrong and I was glad to be wrong.
I cannot relate to the racial tensions in the movie....and that was a big part of the movie for most people. Hell if it wasn't for that fact....the movie probably never would have been made. Race has never been an issue for me and therefore it wasn't a big part of this movie for me. For me, Remember the Titans was about a team coming together...players coming together. The color of their skin was irrelevant.
I think that I was born to love football. The only time I ever resented being born female was during football season. Sure I played on teams and competed in sports...but nothing I ever did amounted to football and it kinda sucks. But I digress...
Because I grew up around football...I know a lot about it. I am not trying to sound arrogant but it is true. If any organization could ever get over the fact that I have breasts I could be a football coach. Hey...those who can't do...teach right? Anyway...whenever I watch young Hayden Panettiere portray Sheryl Yoast, I see myself. Even as a young prissy girl, I still loved to talk football to anyone who would listen. By twelve I had driven my father crazy with my constant chatter about ____ needing to get out of the pocket, or ____ not being fast enough off the snap to be first string that he stopped going to games with me. My obsession with football was so great that I would drag Bobby to whatever high school football game we could find...even if we didn't know anyone who was playing. If he couldn't go...I would go by myself and cheer for total strangers. When I watch this movie and see little Sheryl screaming in the stands by herself...I see little Millie doing the same thing.
The feud turned friendship of Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell was the best part of the movie. They were proud and strong but very different men. When the two of them made the effort to put aside their differences for the sake of the team, everyone else followed. Well almost everyone else. The lone wolf who didn't ended up being kicked off...at the request of his friend Bertier. Leaders can do that...that is what makes them leaders. They inspire others to follow them. It is a pretty amazing thing...it doesn't matter if it is on football field or battlefield...it is a great thing. This movie reminded us of this.
I think that the reason that I love these two characters so much is because they remind me of Bobby and Robin. Not just because of the race issues...but because they instantly hated each other. They spent the first half of their first season together at total odds. The whole team suffered because both men were the leaders of their pack, what with Bobby on offense and Robin on defense. It was ugly. Yet when they put their differences aside they brought the team together. They became more than just teammates, they became great friends...just like Julius and Gerry. When Bobby started to get sick, I know that he leaned on Robin...just like Gerry leaned on Julius until the end.
There is a picture of Bobby, Robin and I that Bobby's mom has in a simple silver frame in her living room that I love. We are standing on sidelines smiling in celebration of the team winning the district championship. Signs of their battle on the field as demonstrated by the fact that Robin has blood on his ugly ass Texas Orange #46 jersey and Bobby's #12 jersey is covered in grass and mud. Painted on one cheek I had the usual Golden Eagle and on the other I had the double hearts with a 12 and 46 painted in tiny black writing. I don't remember that night, but whenever I look at that picture, I wish like hell that I did. I don't have my own copy of the picture but I don't need it. I have recently been lucky enough to have learned that the best place for special pictures is in the mind anyway. It is a lesson that I am very grateful for having been given. But I am really digressing....
To finish...here are a few more reason why this movie is great...
Denzel Washington was specatular in the movie...as he is in every movie that he is in.
Will Patton was pretty damn good too.
And how can you go wrong with young Donald Faison and Ryan Gosling in a movie?
Oh and the soundtrack is awesome! It is a must have for any music lover!
Remember the Titans had plenty of hard hitting football action....but it captured the effect that football has on the people who live it. For whatever reason, it forms life long friendships. I don't understand it, probably because I never played it...but I respect it. Hell, I envy it.
Remember the Titans is the only football movie to ever move me to tears. My real life football memories often move me to tears. So for this reason...Remember the Titans is a winner in the football movie category.