Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.
An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.
A college football coach is told by his bosses that unless they do better this season it could be his last. To bolster the team he recruits a talented tail back. A female student is assigned to help him assimilate with college life and that includes doing his studies because he spent his whole life just playing football. And he finds himself attracted to her and she already has a boyfriend who is also on the team but he might be more concern about losing his position than losing her to him. And the coach has to deal with his other players' situations like the team's quarterback who deals with his father being distant by drinking and it eventually gets him in trouble. And one of the team's defensive players is obviously using steroids but passes the drug tests.Written by
Some scenes show college students lying in a street in the middle of car traffic as a way to prove their courage. A few weeks after the film's release, the studio recalled all copies and deleted this sequence from the picture in response to public outrage, because a few teenagers had been injured or killed imitating this deadly game. See more »
The college football team of the Timberwolves is made up of students from all over America and of all sorts of background. Joe Kane is the team's poster boy and is tipped to go all the way to the NFL; Darnell is a rookie from the tough streets looking for a break with the team and his tutor Autumn and the rest of the team are made up of steroid takers, trash takers and course flunkers. With all this raw aggressions and raw ability, Coach Winters must try and hold it all together despite his own problems.
It has been so many years since it came out that many viewers will have forgotten the fuss that made this film better known than it really deserved to be at the time. I won't go into it but I really fail to see (aside from the one impersonation) why a scene involving chicken with cars was cut yet a scene involving chicken with trains was left in surely if one was unsuitable then the other should be so too? Now, over 10 years later the film remains more famous that it deserves on the back of some fortunate casting it was the cast list that attracted to this film. The actual story is a fairly ho-hum sports movie with all the usual clichés about college sports as well as the usual semi-drama stories around the characters overcoming bad backgrounds, party excesses, girl troubles and so on. As a basic sports movie it is enjoyable enough but it doesn't really do anything that makes it stand out from the genre.
The cast is the ongoing selling point of the film and the performances are OK considering that the material doesn't give them a great deal to do other than go through the genre motions. Caan plays a grizzly old coach who has to cover the player's indiscretions and he does it well enough. Berry looks OK but has little to do in a very male dominated film. Sheffer is supposed to be the lead role but he doesn't really have the ability and he is easily swallowed up by his support cast. Epps is good and minor female roles are also given to Swanson and Adams. Bryniarski overplays his steroid addict but still works and I thought Davis showed a gentle touch when he was given the chance to in minor scenes during the final game.
Overall, aside from the controversy that helped it getting a bigger audience at the time of release and the good list of names in the cast, this is actually just a competent film rather than a really good one. It has all the usual clichés that you expect from college sports films and it doesn't do anything special with them but it doesn't do them badly either. Entertaining as along as you know what to expect.
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