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Another football classic "When the Game Stands Tall"

Standing Tall?
Standing Tall?
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Football season is upon us. Your favorite team might not be all that... already mourning draft picks and training camp? Want to be uplifted? Go see the movie “When the Game Stands Tall” on August 22nd!!

It’s based on the true life story of De La Salles’ 151 game winning streak team (the longest in American high school sports history), and their subsequent losing season. It superbly shows football and men for all that they can be!

If you’re a fan of “The Longest Yard”, “Brian’s Song”, “Invincible”, “We are Marshall”, “Remember the Titans”, “Rudy”, “Radio”, “Replacements” …. This will be no exception.

It’s not cheesy, rather gritty, hard hitting…. starring in the movie are a few magnificent performances by Jim Caviezel (as Coach Bob Ladouceur), and Michael Chiklis, and Laura Dern. Yet the real stars of the movie are the young players like Alexander Ludwig! Each young man added chemistry to distinguish their real life counterparts. The hits, sweat, work-outs …. Can be felt more than seen.

Some of the scenes are difficult… only in that, it’s too true to life (parents out of control, students fighting dysfunctional home situations, administration pressure, rival team jealousy…). There are a few tidbits to pick, but overall a solid ****. It might actually make one love football again (let the good guys get some press). 

The movie’s motto maybe “It’s not how hard you fall, it’s how you get back up”, yet other themes can clearly be seen throughout:

• Identity

• Teamwork

• Family is more than Blood

• Perseverance

• What it means to be “All Pro”

It is amazing the impact that one (1), yes one (1) man can have on a team. In a climate where too many students and parents and schools and … emphasize that “winning” is the only thing, it is refreshing to know that a real life coach/teacher made the beyond difficult choice to treat the opportunity as more!

His heart to teach football fundamentals, and biblical lessons (character and values make the person ) are admirable. Most of us will never master HUMILITY, yet it bled through his students in scores. Clearly the film captures that life is more than just winning. The coach’s sacrifice and devotion reversed the course in a system, a school, and his students.

Know students on a team? Know a school coach? Know someone who loves football? Just plan on taking the family (PG but suited for even little ones). Check out the trailer, or When the Game Stands Tall facebook site, then pass the information on! At least 7 schools in our area have teams going… Don’t miss this one!

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