Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Varsity Cinema - Playoff Power Surge

With the OC about to jump into the heart of the football post-season, the second installment of Varsity Cinema presents a look at Burney's top three high school football movies of all time;
Note to all prepsters heading into a district final this weekend – watch one, several, or all of these movies in the hours leading up to your game and you are certain to find immense motivation for your respective on the field of battle. Any of these flicks will provide a much-needed PLAYOFF POWER SURGE! So pick one, fire up the dvd,enjoy the movie, and then go out on the field and play your tails off!
1 All The Right Moves (1983) – Probably the best movie ever made about high school football. This epic flick stars Tom Cruise as Stefan Jorgevic, a hard-hitting defensive back for a prep football power in a Pennsylvania "Steel Mill" country, who is trying to win himself an athletic scholarship so he can pursue a degree in engineering in college. "Moves" is the polar opposite of your modern day teen movie, but in a good way. The film is dark, but ultra-real and expertly-told, taking an uncompromising look at a number of issues that face teenagers yesterday, today, and forever. You find yourselves really feeling and relating to almost every one of the characters, all pieces of a complex puzzle that is the fictional pigskin obsessed small town and its HS football team that the movie is centered on. The movie also pulls the curtain back on some of the more negative aspects of a pigskin obsessed small town.
2 Friday Night Lights (2004) – The ultimate tale of Texas high school football and the pressures and expectations that thousands of 16 and 17 year old boys within the state are shouldered with when they suit up each fall. Specifically, this movie takes a look at the true-life story of the 1988 Permian Panthers, a ragtag group of prepsters that overcame serious adversity to make a run all the way to the state finals in the movie, the state semi-finals in real life. The performance of Derek Luke as injured star player, "Boobie" Miles is heart-felt and authentic and the best part of the film overall. Billy Bob Thorton's portrayal of Permian head coach Gary Gaines, a honest and strong-willed man continually tested by a overly-rabid community, was spot on.
3 Go Tigers! (2001) – A gritty documentary that chronicles the 1999 prep football season of the Massillon, Ohio Tigers, alma mater of Lions' great Chris Spielman. The story of the season is told through focusing on four primary characters: The Coach, second year sideline general, Rick Shepas, who was under tremendous pressure to bounce back from an uncharacteristic down year the previous season, The Quarterback, senior David Irwin, a quiet, yet prolific on the field leader, The Linebacker, Danny Studer, a second generation Tiger with a serious Urlacher-like streak running through him, and the Pass Rusher, Ellery Moore, a former juvenile delinquent turned star athlete who makes the team his family. The Tigers, led by Shepas, Irwin, Studer, and Moore, put together a dazzling string of wins throughout the '99 regular season capped by a nationally-televised victory over arch rival Canton McKinnley, the only prep game in the nation with a annually attached Las Vegas betting line. All the while off the field, the team, town and the school face a millage vote that could cost the district, specifically the Massillon athletic program, coaching slots and budget cuts.      


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