During this time of year, the National Football League (NFL) off-season slows down to a crawl. The NFL Entry Draft just wrapped up last weekend. Many of the League’s General Managers (GM’s) take their vacations. This is the one time of year that there just isn’t much happening. It is at this time that I really begin missing football. To help fill the gap, I watch a lot of movies that have football as their theme. One of these films is the 2014 movie Draft Day.
Draft Day is directed by the great Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Cannibal Girls, Kindergarten Cop) and written by Scott Rothman. The focus of the movie is on the Cleveland Browns football organization on the day of the NFL Entry Draft. In the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are a bit of joke, but this movie gives them one of the best day’s of their lives.
Kevin Costner stars as the GM of the Browns, Sonny Weaver Jr. and the team is set to draft seventh overall. Throughout the film he is pressured from the newly hired Coach Penn (Denis Leary), the owner Anthony Molina (Frank Langella) and the fans to make a splash. The coach wants a running back that fits his style of offense. The owner wants the flashiest player available. The fans desire a winning team.
The team who has the number one pick in the draft is the Seattle Seahawks. The owner of the Seahawks is Walt Gordon (Chi McBride) and his GM is Tom Michaels (Patrick St. Esprit). Walt wants to trade the number one pick because paying the number one pick is expensive. He tells his GM Tom to find a sucker to trade with, and Tom calls Sonny.
With all the pressure on him, Sonny makes the trade, but mortgages the future of the team. Sonny trades away the next three years worth of number one picks. This makes the owner happy because he believes that the trade is now going to equal the best prospect in college. That prospect is quarterback Bo Callahan (Josh Pence). Coach Penn isn’t happy about this and neither is another prospect who thought the Browns might draft him.
Throughout the movie Sonny deals with a pregnant girlfriend (Jennifer Garner), the coach, the owner, other GM’s, a disgruntled quarterback (Tom Welling) and an upset prospect (Chadwick Boseman). The Browns start the day with the seventh overall draft pick, but come the end of the movie… SPOILER ALERT:
“General Manager Sonny Weaver Jr. took one pick in the first round, the number seven pick. He sprinkled it with fairy dust, wished upon a star and somehow he turned into not one, not two, but three potentially impactful players for his team next year. One pick.” – Chris Berman
Why Do I Love This Film?
Draft Day is such a wonderful film that I am always coming back to it every spring time. Every time I am missing football this movie is on my list. I also began a tradition of watching it the same day as the NFL Entry Draft.
I know the film is unrealistic in the actual NFL, but I just love it. The cast is wonderful, and it is one of the few movies about football that was made in conjunction with the NFL.
Who’s In It?
Other than the aforementioned actors, the movie also has many of the key NFL Media personalties. From the wonderful Chris Berman to guys like Jon Gruden, Deion Sanders, Mike Mayock and the spectacular Rich Eisen. Filling out some of the supporting cast includes the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Sean Combs, Ellen Burstyn, Sam Elliott, Kevin Dunn, Rosanna Arquette, David Ramsey and Wade Williams.
Have you seen the movie Draft Day? What did you think of it? If you haven’t seen it, and are interested in American Football, I definitely highly recommend it.