01/22/2006: Thought for the Day:
It’s a new year, so let’s run through those sports movie clichés one more time. First, you have to have the underdog angle: nobody wants to see a movie where the Austrians win the Olympic bobsled race, which is where we get movies like “Cool Runnings.” Next, there should be a seemingly unbeatable adversary, preferably with reprehensible character traits, even if that just means they’re insufferably cocky because they never lose. Finally, we need a team of underdogs, usually misfits and/or malcontents, who can somehow find it in themselves to band together and win it all.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt if the whole thing is based on a true story.
“Glory Road” is the story of the 1966 Texas Western University Miners, at the time the only team in the South with black starting players, who improbably went on to beat perpetual NCAA powerhouse Kentucky – coached by four-time champion Adolph Rupp – for the national title. The Miners were given no chance of winning, thanks to the fact that black players supposedly lacked the intelligence and the heart to handle basketball on a national stage. In response, Texas Western coach Don Haskins started an all-black team against all-white Kentucky, defeating them, and forever altering the landscape of basketball.
You’d think, with a legend like this to work with, Disney couldn’t possibly screw it up. If so, you’ve obviously forgotten the truly preternatural ability to leech the very soul from everything they touch that celluloid vampire Michael Eisner and his cronies have.
--Pete Vonder Haar
Len on 01.22.06 @ 08:27 AM CST