North Dallas Forty. The Replacements. Invincible. Brian’s Song. Paper Lion. Heaven Can Wait. Weapons of Mass Distraction. Any Given Sunday.
And what did these movies get us? Nick Nolte as Wide Receiver?
Warren Beatty as a Quarterback?
And a depressing speech from Al Pacino?
What all these movies lack is a real “feel” for football. A real dramatic version of NFL Films with kick and verve and Hope Sandoval attitude.
That’s right, I’m bringing out the Mazzy Star references. Because was Mazzy Star a good band? EH. And could Jamie Foxx fix a hitch in his throwing motion to make it in the league? No chance. And can Gene Hackman pull off a comical performance as a head football coach in a largely forgettable movie? You’re God Damn right he can, don’t let BK tell you any different.
There has never been a great football movie because football movies need less of Al Pacino posing and pretending to fuck Elizabeth Berkely and more stuff like this:
A great football movie needs to somehow combine the intricate elements that will make football fans love it and non-football fans appreciate and be fascinated by it. “Any Given Sunday” actually I think had that most in mind but it’s undone by it’s Writer/Director who didn’t recognize what he had and instead wanted to make it seem bigger.
But a few years back, as Hollywood lore goes, there was a great script for a great football movie. Oh yes, my friends, it existed. And it focused not on the Quarterback, or the Coach, or the Owner, or the Crazy Linebacker.
It focused on very possibly the most unsung player on the field. It focused on the Cornerback. In the case of the legendary, never-produced, not quite finished and in fact barely started script, it focused on an undersized, undrafted kid with hops and punt returning jiggles and shakes from a small college in Sacramento.
And while that script never made it to the big screen, I was so enthralled by its potential, that my passion for the position of cornerback now runs deep.
Because when you’re locked down on a receiver one-on-one and fans watching at home DON’T see what you do – that means you’ve done your job. No one in the NFL gets less TV time than the Jets Darrelle Revis. Because he’s always locked down on his man and his guy is seldom open. Even if the receiver he’s covered breaks way both the quarterback and Offensive Coordinator have already given up on his side and rejiggered their offensive philosophy to basically play with 10.
However, in most instances the theory of the shut down corner is overrated. There are very few shut down corners. There was a time when ex-Giant Jason Sehorn was considered a shut down corner. Then he winked during the National Anthem before the start of the 2001 Super Bowl, got burned by Brandon Stokely, married an actress from Law & Order and spent the final years of his career being bitched slapped by more quarterbacks than Ben Roethlisberger’s been slapped with sexual harassment suits.
The truth is stick any corner on an island one-on-one with a solid NFL receiver and a decent NFL quarterback and at some point he’s going to get beat. Plus defenses, from various pass rushing stunts to multiple zone coverages, are designed often to specifically prevent a cornerback from having to spend too much time going mano-y-mano with any one receiver.
NFL defenses are like your car radio dial. It’s designed for you to only have to listen to just so much Colin Cowherd before your skin literally begins to crawl off of your body and you instinctively switch the dial to Christian Rock because even Christian Rock starts to sound good after 6 1/2 minutes of Cowherd. Your radio dial is like the free safety coming over to help. You just don’t have to go one-on-one that long if you’re a corner in the NFL.
The crop of 2010 cornerbacks is highlighted by Florida Gator Joe Haden, who’s physicals are good enough when compounded by what looks like near picture perfect technique. Haden is the only corner who’s really projected to be another Revis, although I’m not sure SEC conference mate Kareen Jackson from Alabama is all that far behind. He’s considered a little more raw and his 13 reps literally made BK vomit. But he’s quicker than a cat on speed and looks to have even more room to develop than Haden. Although granted that maybe that’s just because he’s not as good.
I’m all over Rutgers’ Devin McCourtey – a fast riser who might just yet sneak into the end of Round 1. McCourtey runs a sub 4.5 40 and managed NOT to be called out very much in a fairly prolific Big East conference. Plus he can return kicks and he drinks like a fish and one of his brothers is a Boston Cop and another is a Priest and another is a mobster who talks like Matt Damon with an accent. Okay, he’s not really Irish but if we was that would be like totally how it is.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the physicals on Florida States Patrick Robinson, who goes 4.42 in the 40, skies high at 39 inches and can read and break off a pass to nab an interception quicker than Ashton Kutcher can punk an actress who 2 years from now we’ll forget ever existed.
And speaking of physicals, what in the world to make of the Dez Bryant of cornerbacks – Chris Cook. In a world of 5’10, 190lbs. players Cook has a Sehorn like body coming in at 6’2″, 212 lbs” and still motors and flies – 4.46 40, 38″ vert, 11″ broad – but only pulled off 7 reps at the combine? Just because he missed the entire year at V-Tech shouldn’t have tapped his strength. The BK-o-Meter, which was climbing steadily on Cook, fell so dramatically after his performance in the weight room that it broke and he had to replace it with a migrant farm worker from Oxnard on furlough for 3 days until the meter was fixed.
Finally, Boise State Kyle Wilson is generating some heat and has a strong shot of going in Round 1 and BK likes him because of those 25 reps, but my guess is the speed isn’t all there and just because Boise State was good doesn’t mean their competition in the Big West was.
The greatest football movie never made was – and this might be a surprise to you – a script worked on by myself and a little guy named BK. But we could never pull the storyline all the way together and disagreed on some integral characters. While we both enjoyed meshing out the character of white lightning Wide Receiver Tyke Tannenbaum, we had disagreements over how large a role Quarterback Sandy Lassiter should play. In an unrelated note, Mark Collins is both BK and my all-time favorite Giant cornerback.
TOP 10 CORNERBACKS
Joe Haden, Florida
Universally considered the cream-o-the crop and BK-o-Meter is quite high.
Kareem Jackson, Alabama
He may be a little soft and has his moments, but if he puts in the work he could find his way to Hawaii. Not for the Pro Bowl, which is now in Miami, but to Hawaii where he can spend his bonus check on a lovely luau and rent a scooter to ride around the big island.
Devin McCourty, Rutgers
I may have been kidding about his non-existent Irish heritage, but I wasn’t kidding when I said his DDI’s mad rock bitch.
Patrick Robinson, Florida State
Very solid all around player, he could be considered the #2 corner behind Haden if only his hips were more fluid.
Amari Spievey, Iowa
Nothing wrong with this Spievey kid despite his effeminate name.
Kyle Wilson, Boise State
The BK-o-Meter says he can play, but the DDI says not so much.
Jerome Murphy, South Florida
The interesting thing about South Florida is it’s not located in the southern part of Florida. Does Jerome Murphy know this? If so, I give him a chance to succeed. If not, he’s fucked.
Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
He’s a good player but there’s nothing special here and the BK-o-Meter agrees. Then again, the BK-o-Meter also said Huckabee takes Texas, Celtic Pride is box office gold and tech stocks will never stop climbing.
Walter Thurmond, Oregon
Nate Thurmond was an undersized- banger in the NBA for years, primarily with the Golden State Warriors, who was named one of the 50 greatest players of all time. Later after he retired he opened up a BBQ restaurant. Walter Thurmond once had BBQ ribs at The Screen Door in Portland, which makes an amazing oatmeal pancake btw.
Chris Cook, Virginia
It wouldn’t seem like he’s going to make it, but if he does slip into round 3 don’t you have to take him at that point?
BK LUCKY NUMBER 11
Javier Arenas, Alabama
I don’t like to crowd the ratings on the BK-o-Meter or BK’s thoughts on players by actually talking with BK and getting his thoughts. If I wanted to talk about everything BK didn’t know, we’d be here all day. Did I use that line already in another blog post? But BK made mention that Javier is a spunky short guy who could be (and I quote) “the next Kevin Dockery.” Wow that’s encouraging. That’s like saying a new soda could be the next Cactus Cooler.