High school football playoffs are underway in most states, and the pressure can be nerve-racking. Help ease the tension by checking out the Pick of the Week, submitted by former NFL d-tackle Warren Sapp.
Varsity Blues (Paramount/MTV)
Athlete’s Choice: Warren Sapp
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight and Amy Smart
Rated: R for adult content and language
On Friday night in Texas, there’s only one show in town, and every member of the community shows up to watch. Football is a religion in West Canaan; and for head coach Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight), nothing is more important than winning his 24th district championship. But when his star quarterback blows out a knee, the Coyotes’ only shot is with backup QB Jonathon “Mox” Moxon (James Van Der Beek), who doesn’t want to play by coach’s rules. Tension between the two builds as the season wears on, and Mox begins to feel the pressure of leading the team in the right direction. With the championship on the line, he must rise up and be the hero his team needs while risking his future in order to set his coach straight.
STACK’s Take: Not one of the more original football movies ever made. Just analyze the characters: a typical mean-tempered coach, a typecast fat lineman, the original all-star QB, the stereotypical vixen cheerleader, and several hyper-intense dads reliving their glory days through their sons. What distinguishes this film is that it convincingly portrays how a high school team can have a powerful effect on a town. With a few outlandish scenes and some memorable dialog, the film is also a coming-of-age story, one that most high school athletes can relate to. It’s not an Oscar-winning sports flick like Rocky, but it will put a smile on viewers’ faces and have them cheering for the home team.