The Year in Sports, as Pitched to the Head of a Hollywood Studio
By John Hunt,
2:04PM, Mon. May 14, 2007
I have a few friends that are trying pretty hard to make it as screenwriters. Every one of them has taken a crack at writing about those golden days of college when everything we did was just simply hilarious. Oh how we killed ourselves on a daily basis. Animal House? Rank amateurs. I know a couple of them are pretty close to finishing their 300-page opuses dealing with all five years of life as a perpetually confused college student before the Internet and cell phones. At some point though, after the sun comes up on their post-Oscar after party, they are going to be in dire need of a new idea that will green light another call from the Academy.
They need to look no further than the 2007 Sports Season. I can’t remember a season that has had more drama, twists, and turns then the past five months. Here are a couple of story lines they can “borrow”:
Quarterback getting knocked out of his prime by the inability to win the big game gets to the Super Bowl after his nemesis New England Patriots screw up the final play in their playoff matchup. Things are complicated because everyone says he’s the best. He cashes in on that perception by selling any and every product possible. It’s Heaven Can Wait meets Mission Impossible. Kiefer Sutherland plays Peyton Manning. Working title: You Lucky Bastard: The Peyton Manning Story. The second feature/sequel will be when the New England Patriots acquire top-notch wide receiver Randy Moss. With a serious attitude problem, Randy soon learns the true meaning of Christmas and scores 15 touchdowns against the Colts knocking them out of the playoffs. Working title: Death of a 6-foot-2-inch 240-pound Quarterback/Verizon Salesman. Robert Redford as Bill Belichek, Matt Damon as Tom Brady and Michael K. Williams as Randy Moss. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino each get to direct one.
Iowa native Zach Johnson escapes small-town life and comes from out of nowhere to win the Masters. It’s Tin Cup meets Bagger Vance meets The Greatest Game Ever Played. Tobey Maguire as Johnson, Dulé Hill as Tiger Woods, and Alec Baldwin as Phil Mickelson. Working title: Holy @#^&* I Just Won the @!^#**&^ Masters. Directed by Sam Raimi.
Don Nelson gets fired as the head coach of the Mavericks by obnoxious zillionaire Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and goes into an absinthe-fueled binge in Ho Chi Minh City, only to be brought back from the brink by another zillionaire and owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chris Cohan. A group of ne’er do wells with infinite potential and no shot at winning a title barely make the playoffs. Things get complicated when the team's star pulls up lame in the second quarter of the deciding game and has to dig deep to beat the obnoxious zillionaire’s juggernaut of All-Stars. It’s every single Globetrotter cartoon ever made meets Rocky. Working title: What Just Happened? Nick Nolte as Don Nelson, Eddie Murphy as Avery Johnson. Charlie Murphy as Baron Davis and Anthony Michael Hall as Mark Cuban. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Race car driver’s dad meets his demise in a fiery crash. Driver’s son is also a race car driver. Things get complicated when the dad leaves a controlling interest in the family racing team to his evil wife. Son can’t take it anymore and strikes out on his own. It’s Days of Thunder meets Tommy Boy. Working title: Who’s Got the Fastest Billboard Now? Bitch. Reba McIntyre plays the evil step mom. Seann William Scott as Dale Jr., Jeff Foxworthy plays the Ghost of the Dad who comes back to show Jr. the true meaning of Christmas. Jerry Bruckheimer directs.
Kentucky Derby favorite comes from second to last place to win the derby after jockey learns the true meaning of Christmas. Things get complicated when a plot to kill the Queen of England by brainwashed zombies is thwarted by a bumbling but lovable gumshoe. It’s Seabiscuit meets The Naked Gun. Leslie Nielsen plays the lovable gumshoe, Reggie Jackson as a brainwashed zombie and Ricardo Montalban as the evil genius bent on ruling the world, Helen Mirren as the Queen and Abraham Lincoln as himself. Directed by the Zucker Brothers. Working title: Teabiscuit.
The New York Yankees pitching rotation falls apart and they are forced to call on their retired former ace, "Rocket" Roger Clemens, to help salvage the season from the clutches of the evil Boston Red Sox. Things get complicated when the pitcher has nothing left in the tank and has to shut it down two days after getting back to the big leagues. Can he learn the true meaning of Christmas? Working title and tag line: Get’er Done and Gone. Larry the Cable Guy as the Rocket, Robert De Niro as Joe Torre, Paul Giamatti as Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner as himself. Directed by Lars Van Trier.
A Northeast College women’s basketball team busts its ass all season only to lose to Tennessee in the big game. Things get complicated when a smug piece of crap talk-show host makes sexist and racist remarks toward the team. Robert Duvall as the talk-show host. Spike Lee directs. Working title: Do the Right Thing and Move Your Ass to a Deserted Island and Take Your Waste-of-Life Producer With You.
Head coach of the Pakistani Cricket Team is found murdered in a hotel room in Jamaica. Things become complicated when everyone has to watch a movie about cricket. Hugh Laurie is the smarmy Scotland Yard inspector who must learn the true meaning of Christmas before he solves the case of his career. M. Emmet Walsh as the Pakistani Cricket Team’s head coach. It’s Club Paradise meets Sherlock Holmes. Directed by the Coen Brothers. Working title: A Sticky Wickett.