The Game

A friend recommended the movie to us and said we’d love it.  We were headed to Amarillo to pick up supplies for a remodel project, making it a perfect afternoon to look up a matinee showing before we drove back to Portales.

Searching on the tablet for a place to see the show led to the reviews… which were abysmal. One piece did concede that audiences gave the movie a much higher rating than the professional critics.  We decided to trust our friend’s judgment and go to the movie – even though one of the reviews warned you should only see it if you were in need of a good place to take a nap.

I’m willing to place a few bets about the people who gave this movie less than 20% approval.

I’m betting they don’t have a brother-in-law who was so weak after a series of medical treatments that he didn’t have the energy to stand, so he coached his high school team to victory by rolling around in an office chair at the practices.

I’m betting they don’t have a dad who still loves to reminisce about the ballgames he played in the 1950s.

I’m betting they never stood on the 50 yard line and brought a marching band to attention while the student body roared out applause.

I’m betting they don’t have nephews who buy matching shirts and ties and stand shoulder to shoulder while teaching young men how to handle pressure on a ball court.

I’m betting they don’t have cousins who spend hours and hours driving their children to little league events of all types, proudly posting their darling photos in their sports uniforms all over Facebook.

I’m betting “Friday Night Lights” is not a phrase in their vocabulary.

I’m betting they’ve never yelled themselves hoarse while huddled under a blanket at a freezing game between rival schools.

I’m betting they’re clueless about people like me who really don’t care much about the game of football, but who dearly love the grand tradition played out all over America every fall.

The movie was wonderful!  It’s the story of legendary coach Bob Ladouceur, and the winning streak of the De La Salle football team.  I hope you’ll go see it.  Our teenagers need movies like this.  We all do.

“When the Game Stands Tall”


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