The College football regular season officially ended yesterday, and tonight all the bowl matchups will be finalized. There shouldn't be any surprises in the major bowl games and little controversy with Oregon and Auburn (thankfully) taking care of business and Boise St. choking on dick against Nevada. Anyways this got me thinking about my personal favorite football movies, and what the Raddest sports flick ever was. A film that really captures the highs and lows of a rollercoaster college football season, where every game could be the difference between making it to a January bowl game or playing in the Meineke Car Care bowl. A movie that doesn't sugar coat all the problems a team has to fight through each week when they're roster is overloaded with Rad dudes who are far from perfect. I give you this week's Sunday Evening Rad Flick: THE PROGRAM.
If you ask somebody what their favorite football movie is, or what the "best" football film is, you always get the same answers. "Rudy" or "Remember the Titans" is generally the standard response. Well these are the wrong answers. "Rudy" is not so much a great movie about college football as it is the story of a loser with no talent who makes people feel sorry for him and give him a spot on the Notre Dame roster. I'm pretty sure every member of The Fighting Irish that actually earned their spot on the team hated that guy. "Remember the Titans" is not really much of a football movie either. It's more a tale of bringing racial harmony to a school through the power of Motown sing-alongs. The football part of it is total bullshit. If you do your research you will find that the high school depicted in "Remember the Titans" actually won all their games by 30 point margins during the championship season they integrated their school. There were no crazy flea flickers and option passes needed to pull out hard fought victories as Disney would have you believe. These movies skim over the harsh realities of the gridiron. Off-the-field problems, steroid use, conflict in the locker room, crippling injuries. All the real obstacles that a team must face over the course of a season. These issues are brought to the forefront in The Program.
The fictional ESU Timberwolves have got to have the Raddest lineup of players ever assembled on film. It's like the directors tried to form some sort of super hybrid Rad team that was a mix of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys and 1980s Miami Hurricanes. There's hotshot freshman running back Darnell Jefferson (played by a young Omar Epps) fighting to win the starting job from preppy asshole Ray Griffen while also stealing his main squeeze Autumn (Halle Berry). There's unsung offensive lineman Bud-lite Kaminski doing the dirty work in the trenches while keeping the team loose with his goofball antics. The defense is totally badass. They are led by star linebacker Alvin Mac who strikes fear in the hearts of opponents by acting as bat-shit insane as possible while the offense is trying to get their play set up. Mac actually invents scenarios where the opposing backfield's players either raped his sister, shot his mother or sent his brother to jail so he can get in the right angry mind state to light motherfuckers up. His partner in crime is steroid freak nutjob Steve Lattimer at defensive end. Lattimer paints his face in scary warpaint for each game, and goes through life in a permanent state of roid rage (which gets him in trouble on and off the field). Mac and Lattimer's motto on defense is to "kill them all and let the paramedics sort them out."
ESU's field general in The Program is quarterback Joe Kane, a leading Heisman candidate with a chip on his shoulder. You would think life would be a fucking cakewalk for the star QB of a major college football program, but Kane has serious issues. He's got self-esteem issues thanks to coming from a family of assholes led by his shithead dad who never comes to watch him play. He hates the pressure of being a Heisman candidate. So logically he deals with all these issues as Rad dudes generally do, by hitting the Wild Turkey a little too hard. I mean honestly what team wouldn't want a hard partying boozehound behind center for them rather than some Jesus freak virgin like Tim TeBlow? That's a guy you want to go to war with. Lucky for the Timberwolves Joe Kane knows eventually when to lay off the booze and get down to business. Or as he says "Put the women and children to bed and go looking for fucking dinner." (The Program is full of Rad football quotes like this btw).
This rag tag team of Rad dudes is kept in line by Coach Sam Winters played by Sonny Corleone himself James Caan. Coach Winters is really the perfect college coach. He knows he's gotta maintain discipline and run a clean program. He also knows however, that he's gotta cut a few corners with his players in order to do whatever it takes to win. His football program is the school's leading money maker so he is gonna run his ship how he wants no matter what school officials tell him. As he tells one tightass at an academic cheating hearing "Who cares, when's the last time 70,000 people showed up to watch a kid do a damn chemistry experiment." Will this attitude lead the program to fall apart and get Coach Winters canned? Or will these head cases all get their shit together in time to make sure the team goes bowling in January? You have to check out this Rad flick yourself to find out. You won't be disappointed by the Radness of this Football film classic. If nothing else you should check out "The Program" just for the unintentional comedy factor of Epic Rad Dude Lattimer. Without giving away anymore and spoiling the flick, enjoy the attached clip of Lattimer celebrating his placement on the starting roster in his own..unique..manner.