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The Fanatics (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy
The city of Quimby Falls is already going downhill when the owner of the local professional football team, the Buzzards, decides to bail out and move the franchise elsewhere.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Atwater
Johnny DelFino
Eugene Cleft
Fly Walker
Robert Blister
Rex Tweedy
Ann Walker ...
Junior (as Matthew Michael Mahaney)
Mitchell Whitfield ...
Benny Pinser
Don McMillan ...
Jill Digmie
Victor Raider-Wexler ...


The city of Quimby Falls is already going downhill when the owner of the local professional football team, the Buzzards, decides to bail out and move the franchise elsewhere.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

football | kidnapping | See All (2) »


A scheme so comical, it's criminal.








Also Known As:

Fumbleheads  »

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Did You Know?


The film is loosely based on the Baltimore Colts Marching Band. The band continued to perform after Robert Irsey moved the beloved Baltimore Colts in the middle of the night in 1984. See more »


Robert Blister: Find a way to get me out of that balloon payment. If you don't, I'll break your hands, I'll break your feet, I'll fire you, then I'll *really* get upset.
See more »


Dollar Bill
Written by M. Lanegan / V. Connor
Performed by Screaming Trees
Courtesy of Epic Records
by arrangement with Somy Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

"This isn't just about football. This is about the fans"
27 January 2015 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Quimby Falls is a small town that lost the Buzzards - its beloved pro football team to franchise free-agency (Relocation in exchange for a better stadium deal, bigger market etc) seven years before.

The evil owner Blister (Barry Corbin) also quashed the hopes of the town for getting a Federal Football League expansion team. Blister intends to return to Quimby Falls only to buy it and turn it into a giant land-fill.

Charlie (Ed Asner) and Johnny (Gregory Sporleder) are insane Buzzard fans who steal their buddy Eugene's (Austin Pendleton) RV as part of their plan to kidnap Blister and extort him into returning the team to Quimby Falls. Failing that they may just kill him.

What they don't plan on is finding that Eugene is in the RV when they are half way to Stedford where Blister (and the team) is. Eugene wants to stop their insanity before they get in trouble but since he is as inept as them he just ends up going along for the ride.

Failing to kidnap Blister in a bold infiltration of the Buzzards practice facility they instead abduct Fly Walker, the team's star quarterback, and threaten to break both his legs unless Blister returns the team to Quimby Falls.

Little do they know that Blister can get an insurance payout and carve out some salary cap room if Walker is incapacitated. But Blister's obvious indifference irks the Buzzard fans in Stedford altering the dynamic for Blister and Charlie and his friends.

Even punk teams have rabid fans. Such fans need little encouragement beyond the chance of seeing their team winning. They'll pay through the nose for tickets, concession stand snacks and all manner of fan merchandise to show their dedication.

If such people seem a little goofy keep in mind that they have found something in their lives that excites them. Not enough of us can find that and growing cynicism about everything makes it even more difficult to become energized by anything anymore.

If you take that away from them some can get a little upset over it but none have ever gone to the lengths that the guys we see here go to which I guess is why they thought a movie like this might be funny. They didn't find very many laughs with it unfortunately although the phenomenon of true fans going berserk after being betrayed by a sports team owner is ripe for lampooning since it happens all too often.

I have always felt that there should be a special place in hell for sports team owners that move their clubs. If I knew that such a place existed I am positive I would immediately become very spiritual. In fact if I knew there was a special place in hell for sports team owners that keep their clubs in town but mismanage them I'd probably become very spiritual. I am not joking in the slightest.

The film appears to mostly be inspired by Baltimore Colts owner Bob Irsay's midnight move of his team to Indianapolis following the 1983 NFL season. But countless other pro teams in all the major sports leagues have deserted fans across North American. It is why I advocate for small-market pro sports teams to become community-owned non-profit organizations assuming the ownership model of the Green Bay Packers.

Note: Also known as 'Fumbleheads'.

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