Daily Archives: October 27, 2007

Football Movie News: George Clooney goes Leatherheads

I was at a Borders store in midtown tonight when I came across the fall issue of this men’s magazine called Classic Style (think film noir meets country clubs).

I don’t know if you can tell or not, but the upper left corner of the magazine cover bears the phrase, “NFL’s Best Dressed Coaches.” I was intrigued. I browsed through and found this coach to be Mike Nolan* of the San Francisco 49ers.

As I was flipping through this magazine, my eyes locked onto a picture of George Clooney, John Krasinski, and Renee Zellwegger….

as well as this photo:

These images were from an article about a football movie that Clooney is starring in and directing. It’s called Leatherheads and is slated to be in theatres in 2008.

According to ClooneyStudio.com, the film is “a quick-witted romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America’s nascent pro-football league in 1925.”** IMDB summarizes the plot as “a romantic comedy set in the world of 1920s football, where the owner of a professional sports team drafts a straight-laced college sensation,” who then must “watch his new coach fall for his fiancee.”

IMDB’s triva page for this movie currently states that Clooney’s research and preparation process included screening many screwball comedies.

I will certainly be watching it when it opens next year because A. It’s a football movie. B. It’s set during a time when college football was raging across the country but is about professional football. C. I want to find out whether or not the game sequences will incorporate NFL Films-inspired cinematography and editing or if they will adopt the visual style of The Freshman, College, and Horse Feathers (incidentally all college football films and starring comedic geniuses Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers respectively). and D. It would be a treat to view 1920s uniforms and stadiums in color.

A “Coach Troup” person is credited as football coordinator for Leatherheads.

The football game from Horse Feathers:

For more production stills from Leatherheads, click here.

*He’s quite a handsome fellow, n’est-ce pas?

**Please visit Clooneystudio.com for a more detailed plot synopsis.
pix creds: googe image search, Clooneystudio.com, official site of the 49ers

College Football: The Dawgs chomp down on the Gators

Earlier in the week, I had expressed hope for the University of Florida to beat the University of Georgia, but I’m pretty happy that they didn’t.*

I’ve probably seen an equal number of UGA’s games and Florida’s games on TV (today’s game broadcast by CBS). I have no personal preference for either team. I’m more familiar with UGA’s historical legacy (big SEC football school) and Florida did win the BCS Championship last year, so I knew that I was in for stunning game-play. I was not disappointed at all in this department. In fact, by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, I was hoping the Dawgs would win.

The progression of the scoring was essentially a strike-counter-strike. UGA tailback Knowshon Moreno scored the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter. Florida immediately matched it with a touchdown by wide receiver Louis Murphy. UGA flanker Mohamed Mossaquoi responded with a touchdown. In the top of the second quarter, Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis tied the game 14 to 14.

That tie was soon broken with a Florida field goal in the second quarter. Moreno wasn’t going to have that happen–he gave UGA the lead with another touchdown in the bottom of the second quarter. 21 to 17. UGA fullback Brannan Southerland increased the score gap with a touchdown in the third quarter. Florida’s quarterback Tim Tebow decreased the point distance with a touchdown in the third quarter. 28 to 24 in UGA’s favor.

The fourth quarter brought about a Dawgs TD sandwich: UGA split end Mikey Henderson made a 53-yard touchdown, which was followed by another Tebow TD (accompanied by a failed 2-point conversion attempt), and rounded out by yet another Moreno touchdown. The Dawgs claimed 42 points over the Gators 30.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. According to the commentators, UGA has only won two out of the last seventeen games against Florida (in 1997 and 2004).

2. The Dawgs players ran onto the field en masse after Moreno made that first touchdown–at half-time, UGA head coach Mark Richt told Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports something along the lines of “if they don’t get a penalty for celebration after the first touchdown, I was going to be mad at them.”

3. Tim Tebow was sacked six times.

4. A terrible screen graphic made a few appearances in this telecast. The TV screen would dim and then a spotlight would focus over a point of interest (a player, part of the field, or the vicinity of the ball). Horrendous. Slow-motion and regular motion instant replay is, quite frankly, the only necessary component of the televised aesthetic that adds to rather than detracts from appreciating or better understanding the mechanics and balletics of game-play. The 1st and Ten line is significant psychologically because it serves as a kind of finishing line for a given play–it matters not that it’s not an official marker–and helps to create suspense. I also happen to like the Skycam and the cable cam–as far as how it re-orients the spatial dimensions of the field onto a television set, but some football fans that have decades of cheering under their belt might find it resembles football video games too much and don’t care for it.

5. Aerial footage of The Swamp revealed stands bisected by a sea of red on one side and a sea of purple on the other (red & blue = purple). As soon as the game was about to end, another view from the sky showed red on one side and blue on the other (the seats are blue)

6. The Dawgs are certainly an impressive team athletically and mentally. Playing Devil’s advocate (or die-hard Gators fan), it is possibly worth wondering if UGA would have performed as well as it did if Florida’s quarterback didn’t have a bruised right shoulder. In other words, pit a strong team against one that is normally stronger but has become weaker and what would the result be? Or, pit the strong team against the stronger team minus any injuries and what would the result be? Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. UGA won by a twelve point margin–I’m not a Gators fan, I won’t be delving into subjunctive history here.

For game stats, summary, and play by play, click here.

*As with most things in my life, the more I hope for a particular outcome, the less likely I’ll get that outcome. Such is irony and the will of the gods, n’est-ce pas?