Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Friday Night Light---TV Show

Probably the best show I’ve ever watched in my 38 years on the planet and this includes my previous all time favorite The Sopranos.   The writing, acting and script was just amazing, and sadly the show was never appreciated nearly at the level it should have been by NBC.  For whatever reason, because it had the name Friday in the title, that meant it could only be shown on one of the lowest TV viewing nights of the week.   The story detailed the events of Coach Eric and Tami Taylor (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton), his family, his team and all their lives in fictional Dillon, Texas .    It was by far the most realistic view of Middle America, and the characters were so well-developed that it is truly a TV crime that this show is ending.   The final season airs on NBC starting on April 15th, and if you are like me, you’ll want to buy all the seasons on DVD as they are available.   It’s one of those rare shows that although the movie was outstanding, the TV show was that much better.  One tip if you love Friday Night Lights, make sure you tune in for Parenthood as it’s by the same people and many cast members from FNL are appearing in new roles on Parenthood. 

Friday Night Lights---The Movie

This 2004 release documents the coaches and players of a high school football team in Odessa, Texas.     The movie starred Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gaines and Connie Britton as his wife and is based on a book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, by H.G. Bissinger  .   The movie deals with the Permian High School Panthers and their pursuit towards a state football championship.   Like the TV show with the same name the movie, is very underappreciated as the filming was just incredible having an almost documentary feel to it.   You really think it was all happen live at that moment.  Definitely worth viewing while we wait for the NFL to get a new CBA.   

Terrific performances by Tim McGraw as a dad who can’t let go of his high school glory days and Derek Luke, as a player who’s only plans for the future were tied to football and suddenly has to reevaluate his life once he gets a career ending injury.      If you’ve never seen this film and love football, you should add it to your Netflix list tonight….you won’t be sorry. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Program

In the past six plus years I’ve interviewed close to 250 college players. One human interest question I always ask is “what is your favorite football movie?” and without fail, roughly 75-80% say without hesitation “The Program” when I ask why most reply, “because it’s so similar to real college football.”   That fact alone should make sure you add it to your library of football movies.   Here is a brief plot synopsis on the movie.   “ The ESU Timberwolves are entering a season with high expectations after two disappointing seasons. The film begins with a loss to end the prior season, along with the school president putting pressure on Sam Winters (James Caan) to win this coming season or face a possible firing. Quarterback Joe Kane (Craig Sheffer) spends the Christmas bowl season with his alcoholic father and brother, while NFL prospect Alvin Mack  gives his mother a present to go with the new house she will soon have when he turns pro. The film then follows the recruiting of Darnell Jefferson (Omar Epps), a highly rated running back, and his eventual commitment to ESU and his pursuit of Autumn Hailey (Halle Berry)”.
That should wet your appetite.


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