I love the NFL, and I love football as a sport altogether. The Canadian National Football league is what we have here, and football has been around for around 200 years, but it’s not appreciated in this country like our neighbours to the South. The NFL is a league that has had its hand in my family since before I was born. My mother’s a New York Giants fan, myself and an aunt of mine are Philadelphia Eagles fans, one of my uncle’s is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, another aunt is an Indianapolis Colts fan, another one of my uncles is a fan of wherever Michael Vick goes (bless his heart); my Grandmother a Dallas Cowboys fan, and my Grandfather (rest his soul) a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. As you could see, football is important in my family, and my aim, and the family’s aim is to keep that tradition alive with future generations. A lot of people say that football is a difficult sport to understand, because there are 32 teams, 53 players on a roster, 3 phases of the game (Offense, Defense, Special Teams), and don’t get me started on the rules and regulations. It’s not like basketball where the objective is easy – shoot the ball in the hoop. In football, there are so many ways to score and so many players, that it does take a while to really get into the game, and that’s just the basics. To be a diehard football fan, it’s more than just the NFL you have to look at, because then there’s college football that has to be considered when looking at the future of a team, and this is where Draft Day comes in.
A team needs to be built like any other team, whether it’s through trading with other teams, free agency to spot hidden gems, or the draft where fresh and young players aim to make their statements in the NFL and solidify their legacies. General Managers, Coaches, and Owners are responsible for putting pieces together in order to have a shot at winning the ultimate prize in the NFL (and the biggest on this side of the Hemisphere – the Superbowl. It starts with Draft Day, and besides the first day of the season, and the upcoming regular season schedule release, this is the biggest day in Football outside of the Superbowl, so why not make a movie about it? It only seems right. Football movies have always been nothing but great in terms of being inspiring while telling real stories about characters who had football as their ways to get by, whether it be a career, or just to help them grow as men. Examples like: Any Given Sunday, Remember the Titans, Gridiron Gang, The Blind Side, Little Giants, Rudy, and Friday Night Lights are movies that celebrated the sport where it dealt with the players’ perspective, but in the mind of a general manager on a desperate team with even more desperate fans, what’s going through his mind? Enter Kevin Costner and the Cleveland Browns – a historically heartbreaking sports town whose passion all lies with the spirit of their fans. They’ve experienced defeat through the hands of John Elway and Michael Jordan alike, and even Art Modell when he moved the team to Baltimore (and won a Superbowl), that was a bigger shot to the gut that they still haven’t recovered from.
While the NFL and Draft Day itself were the settings in the movie, it wasn’t the focal point of the movie that a lot of people would have thought it would be. It stuck more so with the General Manager and focused more on his life as he handled outside situations, while facing the pressures of running a team and trying to make it successful. We saw this with Brad Pitt in Moneyball, and to be honest with you, I thought that the quality of this movie would be relatively in that same range (I mean, someone is going to make a football version of that movie around John Schneider – GM of the Seattle Seahawks), but it fell short. The problem was that because so many different stories were intertwined within each other, I found myself just wanting the movie to go into one direction while not veering off into another, just keeping it with football. The authenticity of production around the Draft was great, bringing in key analysts from NFL Network & ESPN alike (even the Commissioner of the NFL), and re-enacting footage from college games; that part of it, I liked, because they give an audience a sense of what goes on in the process before drafting a player: finding their weaknesses, getting background security checks, and of course listening to other GMs across the league to get a leg up in the competition, because ultimately, they’re all trying to achieve the same success as the next team. It’s all about who’s gutsier and more experienced that comes out the winner.
All NFL bias aside, I felt underwhelmed by the movie, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s one of those movies that I’d sit through at home if it happened to be on TV, but I wouldn’t spend money on it again (thank God for Scene points). Kevin Costner was the only standout actor, and there were a lot of funny moments altogether, but they couldn’t save the movie as a whole when it came to the consistency of the effort, although there were things that I learned about the process, and morals to sticking with your instincts to attain relatively good results (it gets more suspenseful towards the end). This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now
“Draft Day, Johnny Manziel” – Drake.
“Draft Day, Alright Movie” – Jordan Hayles
That’s My Word & It STiXX