Thursday, March 12, 2009

Action Football! on Film

I've seen Any Given Sunday once. In the theater, Christmas day, 1999. I'll admit I've been tempted to watch it again, say, once every two or three years since then, but have never been able to bring myself to do it. (Kind of like The Program.)

Given that I'm just over nine months from 10 years since having seen it, it might be surprising that I remember much of anything from the movie, but that I do is a testament (of sorts) to the impact that a single shot had:

The movie opens with a tight shot of a football. From the sides of the screen, in slow motion, you can see the offensive and defensive lines getting into their stances. The center reaches down and slowly rotates the ball so the laces are against his fingers. I thought to myself, "This had better be a long snap." At the snap of the ball, and the film moves into real-time speed, the quarterback is plainly under center. From that moment on (like, forty seconds into a two and a half hour movie) I pretty much wrote off all the football stuff.

FUN FACT: David S. Ward, director of The Program, also directed Major League II (in which, of course, Omar Epps - who was also in The Program - replaced Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes) and Down Periscope (remember when people thought Kelsey Grammer could be in movies? And how weird is it that Dr. Pepper's using Frasier Crane - a character off the air for five years - in commercials now? It'd be like Nikon using Stephen Root as Jimmy James from NewsRadio: "I'm super rich and kind of aloof and this is a great camera."). The funnest fact, though, is that David S. Ward's career kind of sucks.

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