The other day my editor, Patti O’Brien, asked me to go to the movies with her. Since Patti is a romantic like me, I was expecting to see anything but the movie she picked. I don’t know anything about football except that once a year, my son-in-law has a big Super Bowl party at his house and I go there to party and watch the commercials. I got in trouble last year for calling a touchdown a home run. Hey! A player was running and there was a ball involved. So, now that you know how football challenged I am, the question is did I enjoy Draft Day? Meet me at the goal post to find out.
Draft Day is a sports drama directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and stars Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner with the action taking place all in one day during the 2013 NFL draft. Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and has a lot of his plate. Not only is he in a secret relationship with fellow worker, Ali (Jennifer Garner), but Ali is very unhappy with how Sonny reacted to her recent news; she’s pregnant. The owner of the team, (Frank Langella) informs him that he’s out of a job if he doesn’t make a big splash with his first pick. Sonny is grieving over his dad’s recent death. Dad was the beloved coach of the Browns until Sonny fired him. Ellen Burstyn plays Sonny’s mom and she not only tweets, but picks that one day to scatter dad’s ashes onto the playing field. It’s a three ring circus.
The Seattle Seahawks make Sonny an offer to trade their first pick, a hot shot player named Bo Callahan (Josh Pence) for the Cleveland Browns’ next three years of first picks. I didn’t understand what was happening until Patti explained everything. If a team is the lowest scoring the previous year, then they get to pick first. But, was Bo Callahan everything the Seahawks’ general manager said he was? Was Bo worth the big money and the Brown’s next three picks?
The head coach (Denis Leary), and the owner thinks so, but Sonny’s Spidey senses are telling him to investigate Bo’s history. To add to Sonny’s stress, his quarterback, Brian (Tom Welling) isn’t happy about Bo joining the Browns. Sonny also wants to add two other players on his team, linebacker Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman) and running back named Ray Jennings (Arian Foster) but he’s also heard disturbing stories about these two players.
The clock is ticking, and the war room where Sonny and his coaches make crucial decisions for the draft, looks and sounds like the floor of the Stock Exchange; very stressful. Everyone is screaming, phones are ringing, and the head coach keeps flashing his super bowl ring in Sonny’s face.
I had no idea what was involved with picking players for the NFL and how stressful it is not only for the players, but also the coaches and the general managers. Even the fans are involved with a reported six million people watching the first round on ESPN. Who knew all this action went on behind the scenes? Thank goodness, Patti kept explaining to me what was going on.
Kevin Costner is one of my favorite actors, and thankfully, he’s aging like a bottle of fine wine. I’ve always liked Jennifer Garner’s acting and she did not disappoint me in this film. Denis Leary played a big talking, ring flashing coach in love with himself to perfection. There were many football players and sports announcers playing themselves, and I was quite proud of myself that I actually recognized them. I truly enjoyed the film and that’s saying something, especially since I’m not a big fan of the sport and I’m guessing that the people who do like football will definitely love the film.
I liked how Sonny, in the midst of all that chaos, made his final decision with Bo Callahan by asking the player one simple question. I was totally surprised by the huge amount of money that was on the line for the players and coaches alike, and then, I thought about our failing education system in the United States.
Just a thought, but maybe we can have a draft day for teachers and schools. If we put as much money and effort into education as we do for football, then every child would be a winner. What do you think?