The movie Draft Day premiered in Cleveland earlier this week for members of the Cleveland Film Commission, media and staff from the Cleveland Browns. Browns players, including Joe Thomas, Jabaal Sheard and Cameron Jordan, attended the "orange carpet" event.
I attended the event and was pleasantly surprised. Whether you're a football enthusiast or a sucker for sports movies, you're going to want to see this one.
Draft Day depicts the frantic efforts of Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (played by Kevin Costner) to trade up for the No. 1 pick in what could be a franchise saving draft. Sound familiar, Browns fans?
While the real-life Browns prepare for arguably the biggest draft in franchise history, the fictional team hits the big screen looking to make a deal before the clock runs out on their chance to bring a once proud franchise back to prominence.
The movie was filmed prior to the start of the 2013 football season, but director Ivan Reitman and writer Rajiv Joseph seemed to foresee the future of the Cleveland franchise.
In Draft Day, quarterback Brian Drew (Tom Welling) leads the Browns to a few victories before suffering a season-ending injury. Weaver must decide whether to sacrifice everything and draft hot-shot quarterback Bo Callahan to replace Drew, or play it safe with another promising pick.
It all sounds eerily similar to what happened when Browns QB Brian Hoyer sat out most of his season with a torn ACL after playing well and leading the Browns to early success. The real-life Browns don't have the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL Draft, but the odds favor them selecting a high-profile QB early in the first round.
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Football enthusiasts will love this movie. In a high pressure style similar to Jerry Maguire, it takes us into the team's front office on the biggest day of the year.
Endorsed by the NFL, Draft Day is filled with game footage from the archives and scenes inside the Browns' facility and other NFL offices and stadiums. The film also perfectly depicts the atmosphere inside Radio City on the day of the Draft.
If you're not a huge football fan, the movie tells a compelling story about the pressures of pro sports. It even has a romantic edge, with Jennifer Garner playing Costner's love interest.
Draft Day also stars Denis Leary and Chadwick Boseman. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster plays a potential draft pick. The movie is now playing in theaters around the country.
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