Scott Bakula plays Paul Blakeman, quarterback for the Texas State Fighting Armadillos, in the football film Necessary Roughness (Stan Dragoti, 1991). I started watching it today and am liking it much more than I had anticipated. It’s not great or terrible–as football films or films in general go–but it’s funny. Very brief plot synopsis: all but one of TSU’s football players have been dismissed due to the beer-and-circus of college athletics. The coaches are all gone too. The goal of the story is to re-populate the team. Hector Elizondo and Robert Loggia play the new coaches. The conflict: aside from having an 0-8 losing streak by the time there are only two games left to play in the season and trying to overcome those competitive shortcomings, the Dean (Larry Miller) wishes nothing more than for the Armadillos football program to implode. The complication: Scott Bakula has to enroll as a freshman in order to be a part of the team. His character is forty years-old. His journalism teacher (played by Harley Jane Kozak, who was also in Arachnophobia–no wonder she looked so familiar!) is the love interest.
Yes, that is indeed Kathy Ireland on the DVD cover. I’ve watched about fifty of the film’s 108 minute running time but haven’t seen her on screen yet. Dick Butkus, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, and Herschel Walker, among other sports figures, already had their scene and Miss Kathy still hadn’t appeared.
Rob Schneider plays the game announcer; my favorite fifteen seconds of the film occurs during the second game sequence (against the Miners) when he says, “The Blakeman pitches to Sarge. The Sargester bumps into his own man. It’s a fumble. Fumblelaya. Sarge ‘Fumbelina’ Wilkerson fumbles the ball” in the same manner that The Richmeister, one of his SNL characters, speaks.
Sinbad plays a professor of Celestial Mechanics and also plays football. He explains to Scott Bakula’s quarterback about going to TSU on a football scholarship but also studying chemistry, which the coach at the time didn’t like. I’d call that a Knute Rockne moment of intertextuality.
I’ll write more about this film after I finish watching it. But for now, I bought new boots!
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A few news items that may interest you:
Atlanta is going to have a Black College Football Hall of Fame.
ESPN the Body Issue. I like numbers two and sixteen in the Bodies We Want section.