The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is this weekend and we here at Pride of Detroit love film. All kinds of films. And not so surprisingly, we love football flicks—even the ones that are downright awful.
So in the true spirit of #OscarSZN, we’re celebrating the spirit of competition and nominations with our own fictional football character fantasy draft.
As far as the ground rules, it was pretty straight forward: Draft a team for a game of backyard football. The positions we decided on being essential for offense were one quarterback, one running back, one receiver, and one offensive lineman who could also be an eligible receiver. On defense, one defensive lineman, two linebackers, and one defensive back.
Mike Payton was the only member of Pride of Detroit brave enough to enter into such a dumb exercise as this with me, and he awarded himself first pick. Not only did he award himself the first pick, but he also then chose a fixed draft order instead of a snake draft putting me at an even further disadvantage. Those, people, are the facts. Even with all of these handicaps in place, we pressed on. Here is a running diary of our picks.
1. Shane Falco (QB) - The Replacements (2000)
Mike’s rationale: It’s really simple. Every team needs a leader, and when it come to being a leader, Shane Falco has everything you’re looking for. You first have to look past the five interceptions that Falco threw in the Sugar Bowl.
In the pro’s, Falco took over as starting quarterback for the Washington Sentinels and took 52 other rag-tag individuals and made them a winning program, leading the franchise to the playoffs just before the league strike ended. Some guys are just better in the pro’s. Falco is Tom Brady.
2. Bobby Boucher, Jr. (LB) - The Waterboy (1998)
Ryan’s rationale: After seeing Mike choose a quarterback with the first overall pick, my decision of who to draft next became a no-brainer. Falco is in for a world of pain. After all, “Captain Insano shows no mercy.”
Bobby’s brutal style of play is going to be a difficult thing to navigate, and controlling his temper could certainly prove to be a challenge, but there’s no one else who’s going to play with his brand of physicality, or his willingness to give everything he has on the field.
“Coach, not only will I do it for you, I... I... I... yes, yes, I’ll do it for you.”
He literally had quarterbacks begging for their lives at the line of scrimmage. In his first football game he ever played, Bobby set the NCAA record with 16 sacks in a single game against West Mississippi. Boucher is going to be an absolute terror, and he’s exactly the player you need to have on your team because he sure as hell isn’t the linebacker you want playing across from you.
3. Julius Campbell (DL) - Remember the Titans (2000)
Mike’s rationale: Julius Campbell is so good at defensive end that the Ryan almost quit this whole thing when I drafted him. It’s scary thing for him to know that his guys are going to be staring down the barrel of the gun that took down Ed Henry’s legendary Marshall team in the state finals. Plus, look at the intensity in camp. The dude is flat conditioned.
4. Rod Tidwell (WR) - Jerry Maguire (1996)
Ryan’s rationale: Tidwell is a bonafide superstar wideout. He’s the best receiver available in the draft and his production speaks for itself. In 1995, Tidwell caught 110 passes for 1,500 yards, so he’s basically Antonio Brown before Antonio Brown.
He’s oozing with charisma. He’s a role model. He’s everything this team needs in its most potent weapon on offense.
“Other football players may have the coin, but they won’t have the ‘Kwan’.”
5. Earl Megget (RB) - The Longest Yard (2005)
Mike’s rationale: I needed a running back. There were a lot of ways to go here. I could have gone the way that Ryan went, but I’m not big on my running back snorting coke with hookers. So I got my running back from the prison league instead.
Now I have no idea what Earl did, and I probably never will, but I was reminded of the old story about Calvin Johnson running his 40 in borrowed shoes. That’s really something (even if it’s not really true). My running back is so fast he ran out of his shoes.
6. Joey “Battle” Battaglio - The Longest Yard (2005)
Ryan’s rationale: There’s only one of us who has a former heavyweight champion wrestler who also used to be a professional football player on our team, and that’s me.
7. Ogre (LB) - Revenge of the Nerds (1982)
Mike’s rationale: Okay, I have some concern here. The upside on Ogre is outstanding. He truly could be one of the best and most imposing forces at linebacker in football history. The issue is this guy’s obsession with nerds.
So it’s a high-risk, high-reward type of selection. I need this guy to stay focused. On second thought, when you think about all the legitimate crimes that these nerds committed, Ogre suddenly looks like a good Samaritan. Keep at it, Ogre.
8. Cheeseburger Eddie (OL/TE) - The Longest Yard (2005)
Ryan’s rationale: We’re not really sure how well Eddie can play football, but he does have the “shakes that will me [us] quake” and the “fries that will cross [our] eyes.”
Good enough for me.
9. Billy Bob (OL) - Varsity Blues (1999)
Mike’s rationale: Man that Cheeseburger Eddie pick really threw off my game plan. There weren’t very many selections left to take. I could have taken Fat Tony from the same prison that Eddie and Earl came from, but I saw this on his highlight reel.
So instead went with Billy Bob from West Canine. Like Ogre, this is a bit of a high-risk, high-reward type of pick. On one hand, Billy Bob is a certifiable alcoholic with concussion issues. On the other, he scored that touchdown that one time and I’m cool with having a pig on the field as a mascot.
10. Charles Jefferson (DL/DE) - Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Ryan’s rationale: Nine players have been taken in this draft, and I’m not sure any of them are going to play with the edge—no pun intended—that Charles Jefferson is going to play with after I convince him it was Mike Payton and his team of no-class ruffians that destroyed his car.
A tandem of Jefferson and Boucher on defense is downright frightening. Is there anyone on Mike’s offense that won’t be eating through a straw and using a bedpan for the foreseeable future after this game?
There were always those kids who showed up to play in the neighborhood game of tackle football that were too big, too old, and too much into the idea of inflicting pain on the younger kids. Jefferson is going to be a man amongst boys.
11. Petey Jones (DB) - Remember the Titans (2000)
Mike’s rationale: An interesting choice with a tiny twist. When Jones initially showed up to camp, he showed up as a running back. He had the speed and ability, but just could not hang on to the ball, forcing head coach Herman Boone to sit him.
Defensive coordinator Bill Yoast was having a lot of trouble with Alan Bosley in the secondary. He took Petey to defense, and it wound being a perfect fit for him. He even held onto the ball in a key moment in the state championship.
12. Julian Washington (RB) - Any Given Sunday (1999)
Ryan’s rationale: Anyone more fly than Cool J in a football movie?
He’s all about getting what’s his, and can anybody blame him for wanting to get the bag? Sure, Washington and the quarterback I’ll be drafting here shortly butted heads and may have gotten into a “brawl,” but for a guy who is labeled as a “mercenary” by his own head coach, I trust he’ll be the consummate teammate when the game’s on the line, like he did right here:
13. Forrest Gump (WR/KR) - Forrest Gump (1994)
Mike’s rationale: This was an absolute steal. Not only did I get an All-American, I got a Medal of Honor winner, a ping pong champion, a guy with the stamina to run across the country and the owner of the largest shrimp company in the world. So, yeah, I win.
14. Brian Chavez (DB) - Friday Night Lights (2004)
Ryan’s rationale: Chavez was one of the defensive standouts from the film adaptation of the movie Friday Night Lights, and in the film, he plays safety. And he’s like really good at it. In the novel of the same title from which the movie was based on, Chavez actually played defensive end in his time at Odessa. Years later, he would also end up being arrested for home invasion. I really Brian Calhoun’d this pick.
In other words, a lesson we all need to learn at some point in time: The book is always better than the movie.
15. Becky “The Ice Box” O’Shea (LB) - The Little Giants (1994)
Mike’s rationale: I’m changing the game forever here. I decided to not only go with a girl, but I went with the only pre-teen in the whole draft. Here’s my thoughts. Yeah she’s a lot smaller than the rest of the guys in the draft, but, my god, the intensity on this one is outstanding.
She also has football in her blood as you can see from the video above. She’s the niece of football legend Kevin O’Shea, and you can see the that some of that talent rubbed off on her. This may look like a risky pick, but I’m confident I drafted the best defender in the draft: The Ice Box.
16. Willie Beamen (QB) - Any Given Sunday (1999)
Ryan’s rationale: If Mike hadn’t selected Shane Falco with the first overall pick, Willie Beamen would have been my selection at No. 2 overall. But without any reason to take a quarterback, I was able to get the best player in the draft at No. 16 overall a.k.a. the steal of the whole entire draft. And being drafted seven rounds after he should have been drafted is nothing new for Beamen.
Beamen is the perfect quarterback for the brand of football we’re playing, but even that is a stupid distinction to make: He’s the best quarterback for any type of football being played ever by anyone at any time.
He’s got all the athleticism in the world—he was a cornerback in college because he had “quick feet.” Then, someone wised up and put the ball in his hands on every snap and made him the most dynamic threat in the history of fictional football. And that’s because he’s got the arm to make any throw.
Like Tidwell, he’s got more charisma in his bicep than you and all the people you know and admire have in their entire being:
Of all his perceived shortcomings, his ability to learn the playbook seems to be his most pronounced deficiency, but that’s a non-issue in this game of backyard football. Sure, Beamen likes to call audibles and create his own plays, but isn’t that exactly what a backyard football team needs?
“If I play my way, I just might win.”
By the end of the film, Tony D’Amato—Beamen’s coach who consistently butted heads with him and even benched him at one point—takes a different head coaching position with an expansion organization, and says that he’s signing Beamen to be his franchise quarterback. Is there any more glowing recommendation than that?
QB - Shane Falco, The Replacements (2000)
RB - Earl Megget - The Longest Yard (2005)
WR - Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump (1994)
OL - Billy Bob - Varsity Blues (1999)
DL - Julius Campbell - Remember the Titans (2000)
LB - Ogre - Revenge of the Nerds (1982)
LB - Becky “The Ice Box” O’Shea - The Little Giants (1994)
DB - Petey Jones - Remember the Titans (2000)
Head Coach - Jimmy McGinty - The Replacments
QB - Willie Beamen, Any Given Sunday (1999)
RB - Julian Washington - Any Given Sunday (1999)
WR - Rod Tidwell - Jerry Maguire (1996)
OL/TE - Cheeseburger Eddie - The Longest Yard (2005)
DL - Charles Jefferson - Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
LB - Bobby Boucher, Jr. - The Waterboy (1998)
LB - Joey “Battle” Battaglio - The Longest Yard (2005)
DB - Brian Chavez, Friday Night Lights (2004)
Head Coach - Tony D’Amato - Any Given Sunday (1999)
Who has the better fictional team?
This poll is closed