NFL & the Movies – a 2013 Retrospective
As the year winds down, we always tend to look back and reflect on the best & worst lists of the year that was…or other fun lists involving TV moments, news stories, movies, songs, sports, etc. I’d like to take the liberty of blending movies and sports (NFL to be precise) into a comparative list for the year.
Matching the NFL Team with the 2013 movie that best represents its fate from the past year…shall we?
Magic was a theme for a couple of movies in 2013. Sometimes magic works…and well, sometimes it doesn’t. So we will start there…
Magic That Didn’t Work
A nice cast of players couldn’t say the magic words to save such a promising production…oh yeah, and the movie was disappointing too. Whether it was Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey, or Matt Stafford, Megatron and A Man Named Suh, everything just fell apart for both troupes in 2013. The Lions had destiny in their hands and let it slip away like a magician scrambling frantically through the deck and asking over and over again, “Is THIS your card?!?…How about THIS one?…” The magic ran out on both the film and the Lions. Back to the old drawing board…
•Now You See Me – Kansas City Chiefs
A pleasant surprise story about a group of skilled illusionists who team up to pull off the heist of the century led by a mastermind who controls it all. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo do it on the big screen, while Alex Smith, Jamal Charles, Derrick Johnson and Andy Reid work their magic on the gridiron. Reid has been the architect of the magical season of the Chiefs. Getting off to a red-hot start, but then cooling slightly, they still have managed to become major players in the chase for the ultimate heist…The Lombardi Trophy…Presto!
•The Lone Ranger – Houston Texans
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer couldn’t save what was supposed to be the surefire hit of the year, but it just fell flat and didn’t impress anyone…That Texas duo fell almost as flat as the Houston Texans this season. A preseason Super Bowl contender, the Texans turned out to be dreadful in a season of horrors. Matt Schaub was downright awful as he through countless TDs to the other teams and the injury bug struck again and left the Texans standing there like a gunfighter at high noon without any ammunition. The result was running Gary Kubiak out of town. Both the movie and the team may need a recast and a sequel with a better ending.
Best Bang for the Buck
Quick, name four main actors in Gravity…now name four major players for the Cardinals. See where I’m going there? You don’t need a huge cast to pull off greatness, you just need key people stepping up and executing a great script (game plan). The Cardinals are doing just that, and keeping the frontrunners on their toes, thanks to Carson Palmer, Patrick Peterson and a small band of desert birds. Sadly, the Cardinals, much like Sandra Bullock in Gravity, may find themselves lost in space. The Cardinals have pulled off double-digit wins and still missed the playoffs, and will be watching them as if they were on the moon, miles and miles away. Gravity still has a chance for some hardware, but sadly the Cardinals do not.
•Movie 43 – New York Giants
How do you take a star-studded cast and make a stinker? Ask the people responsible for Movie 43, and the New York Giants. Movie 43, if you haven’t seen it or heard of it, is a series of short comedic scenes peppered with big names and horrible results. Sounds like the Giants, huh? Well the comparisons are uncanny…Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and the G-Men turned their 2013 offering into a farce of titanic proportion. Just when you think things were going to turn around and it was going to get better, it just gave itself a “raspberry” and got even worse. I wish I could unsee Movie 43 and I think Giants fans wish they could unsee their team’s embarrassing 2013.
•Captain Phillips – Denver Broncos
Captain Phillips is the true story of a courageous captain who had to weather the storm of pirates charging on his ship led by a chief marauder, and Tom Hanks could lead this one to an Oscar after it’s all said and done. Peyton Manning is the Broncos’ Captain Phillips, who battles against Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs as well. His valiant performance is sure to lead him to a Best Actor (MVP) Award and the Broncos to a Best Picture (Super Bowl) nod along the way. Peyton, like Mr. Hanks, never ceases to amaze the crowds and critics.
•Pacific Rim – Seattle Seahawks
This may be the surprise hit of the year! Pacific Rim is a blockbuster action thriller pitting good versus evil in a veritable clash of the titans in the Pacific. The Seahawks are the “Jaegers” and the rest of the NFL act as the “Kaijus” in this tale of heroism and domination out west. The Seahawk machine is driven by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, and they go “beast mode” against their foes, while their defense is shutting down opposition right and left on their way to the greatest victory of all. With this arsenal, not much can stop this juggernaut from the great northwest.
•White House Down – Washington Redskins
You couldn’t find another more appropriately titled movie to describe the Redskins this season. White House Down is about Washington falling for various reasons, mainly internal corruption. The Redskins are falling hard for almost the same issues, internal strife. Shanahan-gate and injuries and controversy with RGIII have led the Skins down a rough road. A road that may have fans asking who should be in charge… Have their past mistakes been too large to overcome and recover for future generations? Speaking of the Redskins, of course. It may be time for a change.
•Bad Grandpa – Dallas Cowboys
Johnny Knoxville dresses up as an old man, and with the help of a young sidekick, goes around fooling the locals with pranks and pratfalls and tomfoolery at every turn…all in the name of entertainment. Sure, some people love that kind of slapstick, lowbrow humor and yet, others tire of it quickly. Sounds like another older gentleman we know who likes to do outlandish stunts and say ridiculous things to the public…all in the name of entertainment. Jerry has been muddling his team through an up and down season, hovering around .500 with little to show for the effort. Maybe Johnny Knoxville can be the new GM as a different character, there is already a Bad Grandpa running the show in Dallas.
So there you have it…take ‘em or leave ‘em. The year that was, in the theaters and across the NFL. To borrow from the big screen, a Fist Full of Dollars won’t guarantee you anything in this league…you are left with The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, and to make it better, your team may just have to spend A Few Dollars More. Now pass the popcorn.
Let the playoffs begin…