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10 Thoughts On The Program

So my April Fools column went up at the Mothership this morning: an in-depth preview of the upcoming ESU Timberwolves season.

Ah, the life of a blue-chip quarterback. Joe Kane enters his junior season both a disappointment and a Heisman candidate. Not unlike someone like former Florida State quarterback Chris Rix, Kane has all the physical tools necessary to succeed (other than perhaps a bit of a slight stature), but he has neither completely harnessed them nor received the help necessary to rebuild a winner in north Florida. The junior has struggled with both lingering injuries and, potentially, some other personal issues as well; but along with Michigan quarterback Tim Waymen, he enters the season one of the two top names in the early Heisman race.

Kane's Heisman candidacy could potentially be as much in the shaky hands of a freshman as his own. ESU has lacked severely at the running back position in Kane's time behind center, and with rebuilding a once-explosive run game a major priority of the offseason, all eyes shift to five-star freshman Darnell Jefferson. Once thought to be a qualification risk, Jefferson is eligible and ready to do damage … if he can hold onto the ball, at least. Word from campus is that he has struggled with fumbleitis a bit, which is often common among blue-chip backs who have never had to worry about high school defenders getting close enough to strip the ball. If Jefferson can displace starter Ray Griffen, ESU's ceiling will likely get quite a bit higher. Griffen is a workhorse back, but he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry (minus-11.4 Adj. POE) last fall.

As "research," I watched The Program for the first time in quite a while this weekend. Here are some thoughts as it approaches its 20th friggin' anniversary.

  1. My wife was not impressed with this movie, and for one very good reason: it isn't very good. But I was 15 when it was released, and I just cannot tell you how fun it was watching this in the theatre with a bunch of other 15-year old males. It was easily my favorite movie in the world for a while, at least until I watched Independence Day with the same crew a couple of years later.

  2. Craig Sheffer was well over 30 when this movie was made. And he's about 5-foot-6. He did a perfectly fine job and all, but ... was he really the best they could do here for the lead quarterback? That said, I shouldn't complain; he ended up in two of my favorite movies of the period. He was the Heisman contender in this movie, and he was the greatest douchebag ever in Some Kind Of Wonderful. His IMDB page says he hasn't been in a single thing I've seen since this movie came out (Really? He's been in 58 episodes of One Tree Hill?), but that's still a solid impact.

  3. Of everybody in the cast, Duane Davis (who played Alvin Mack) had to have been the best football player in real life, right?

  4. Lattimer just makes the movie. He is the first character anybody remembers, and he was precisely how a 15-year old male envisioned every single college football player in real life.

  5. As I was cataloging all the names of the extras in uniform (yes, you read that correctly ... this was "work," after all), I noticed that almost every single extra was a white male around 230 pounds. So they were all given either tight end, fullback or linebacker numbers. ESU had a pretty damn deep corps of linebackers and fullbacks.

  6. Really, a missed opportunity in not giving more screen time to the Flee (Flea?) Ward character (the receiver who catches a touchdown pass early on). Receivers are the perhaps the most stereotypically silly characters in the game of football.

  7. I had absolutely no recollection of Joey Lauren Adams being in this movie. (She played the slutty unlucky-in-love coach's daughter.) So I guess it really had been a while since I saw this.

  8. Is James Caan actually acting in this movie?

  9. Halle Berry in horrendous, long pants that went up to her armpits. God, the early-1990s were awful and/or a giant wasted opportunity. (Meanwhile ... god, did I love Kristy Swanson in the early- to mid-1990s.)

  10. Sorry, Texas State Armadillos. Your preview will have to wait until April 1, 2013.