09 August 2020


This blog post about LUCAS (1986) is the third of three posts that discuss unique movies about the sport of American football.


The romantic comedy and drama movie LUCAS stars Corey Haim as a precocious child named Lucas. Lucas appreciates nature and classical music. He is intelligent but prejudged by others because of his appearance. He is small in stature and on the surface unpretentious. Because of these qualities, aside from students in the school marching band, other teenagers do not socialize with him.

Maggie (Kerri Green) is new in town and meets Lucas during the summer break before school starts. Lucas introduces Maggie to bugs and classical music. Maggie introduces Lucas to tennis and gives him a ride in her convertible car. One-on-one these friends make a great pair, but Lucas desires more.

Eventually, Maggie meets other teenagers in the community, including Cappie (Charlie Sheen). Maggie develops feelings for Cappie, who Lucas calls “superficial,” and Cappie is attracted to Maggie, but has a cheerleader girlfriend named Alise (Courtney Thorne-Smith). When Cappie suggests Maggie become a cheerleader, Alise gets angry at him.

Lucas thinks cheerleading is as superficial as football. However, he puts energy into capturing Maggie and joins the school’s football team. He makes this decision based on observing Maggie’s admiration for football player Cappie. Ironically, Lucas focuses on football and Maggie, but does not notice his marching band classmate Rina (Winona Ryder) likes him.

The football coach (Guy Boyd) obviously does not want Lucas on the team, but Lucas shows up to practice in uniform quoting laws about how he is supposed to be given a fair opportunity. No one takes Lucas seriously and he ends up in Principal Kaiser’s (Garrett M. Brown) office, creating his own superficial circumstances by telling the principal his father is a lawyer. Truthfully, Lucas’ father is an alcoholic and he does not live in the affluent neighborhood he takes Maggie to during summer break. Rina already knows these aspects about Lucas’ life, but he does not spend time with her outside of band class. Instead he chooses to impress cheerleader Maggie whom he has no chance of romancing.

LUCAS is not just about football, but the sport does represent a fair portion of the story. In Lucas’ perspective football players and cheerleaders are superficial, yet he uses the sport to get what he wants. Unfortunately, Maggie never returns his affections, but his bravery in playing the sport, risking physical injuries garners him respect from his peers.

05 August 2020

Facing the Giants

This blog post about FACING THE GIANTS (2006) is the second of three posts that discuss unique movies about the sport of American football.


The drama movie FACING THE GIANTS features an extremely popular scene, even if one has not seen the entire film he or she has watched the scene of one football player carrying another player on his back all the way across a football field. This scene is shown at conferences by workshop presenters and at schools by teachers. Attendees and students are told the message that they can do whatever they put their mind to if they are willing to prepare by working hard and never giving up. FACING THE GIANTS is unique because the message is presented from a Christian perspective. In addition to preparing, working hard, and never giving up one must have faith in God because all outcomes are His will.

Alex Kendrick plays Grant Taylor, head football coach at Shiloh Christian Academy. The team consistently loses and the players’ parents want Taylor fired. In addition to coaching a non-championship team, Taylor has several other problems he is dealing with, including being the reason why his wife is unable to conceive a child.

Difficult times are often what lead people to pray. Taylor prays, reads the Bible, and is inspired by his former football coach. His faith allows him to accept winning a game or losing a game, and he encourages his players to focus on their attitudes. As a result, the team starts winning games, makes the state playoffs, and surprisingly plays in the state championship game against the three-time championship team, the Richland Giants. Furthermore, Taylor’s personal circumstances improve, and he keeps his job.

In addition to playing Taylor, Alex Kendrick is also co-writer, co-producer, and director of FACING THE GIANTS. Bob Scott, a veteran cinematographer for NFL Films, is the film’s director of photography. Rob Whitehurst, a NFL Films technician, records the movie’s sound.

Most sports films are inspirational, and it is exciting watching the underdog achieve championship status (however, the movie FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS put a spin on that idea). The Christian perspective of FACING THE GIANTS shows viewers an even deeper inspiration by not limiting Taylor’s faith to wanting to win football games. His focus on attitude makes it possible for him to live his life in an even more positive way and develop character by accepting God’s will, regardless of what may happen. This is an exceptional lesson for everyone. Lastly, it relates to the quote by Greek philosopher Epictetus: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it. Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.”

02 August 2020


Several great films are made about American football. Even if one is not a football fan, the movies are enjoyable. My next three blog posts discuss unique movies about the sport of football.


Goldie Hawn plays Molly McGrath in the comedy WILDCATS (1986). McGrath is a girls’ track coach at the affluent Prescott High School. She desires a position as a football coach because her father was a well-known football coach. It is significant McGrath wants to coach football because no woman had ever done it before, not even at the high school level.

In real life Jen Welter was introduced as the first woman National Football League (NFL) coach in July 2015. Just this year Katie Sowers was the first female to coach in a Super Bowl. So far only 10 women coached professional football and three coached high school football.

WILDCATS is a unique movie about football because Molly McGrath is given the opportunity to coach football at Central High School in Chicago. Unfortunately, the position is given to her as a joke by the male football coach of Prescott High School, Dan Darwell (Bruce McGill). The job offer is solid, but Darwell has no faith McGrath can truly coach football. In addition, it is noted that no one else will take the position at Central High School because of where it is located. McGrath is a white woman who will be coaching football at a school where mostly students of color attend.

At first the boys on the Wildcats team at Central High School give McGrath a difficult time. She firmly tells them no one else will take the job so they are stuck with her. Over time, McGrath grows on the team and the team grows on McGrath; a mutual respect is cultivated.

WILDCATS presents the concept of a female football coach that is 29 years ahead of its time. It is a fun comedy that does not take itself seriously, even though the idea of a woman in McGrath’s position might have inspired many young girls watching the movie. The film may have also inspired videos that were produced by real life professional football teams. The end credits of WILDCATS features the Wildcats team and McGrath performing a rap: “It’s the sport of kings, better than Diamond Rings, That’s why we’re here to sing, football…”

The most popular video was by the Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew performing “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” Other NFL teams that made videos in the 1980’s were the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Raiders (“Silver and Back Attack”), the Seattle Seahawks (“Locker Room Rock”), the Dallas Cowboys (“Livin’ the American Dream”), the Philadelphia Eagles (“Buddy’s Watching You”), the Cleveland Browns (“Masters of the Gridiron”), the Miami Dolphins (“Can’t Touch US”), and the Los Angeles Rams (“Ram It”). WILDCATS probably got the idea from one of these teams. Whether the movie inspired real life or the real teams inspired the movie, the rap during the end credits of WILDCATS is very entertaining and keeps viewers engaged.

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