Today is Super Bowl XLVI, the one day each year when football fans wish they had paid better attention when Roman Numerals where taught in elementary school. Today’s event is the culmination of the games and festivities that have been in full swing for weeks. Las Vegas oddsmakers are notorious for game-related bets including who will win the opening coin toss (1-2 odds favoring the Giants) and whether Kelly Clarkson’s bare midriff will be exposed when she sings the national anthem (1-3 odds). However, there is one bet that I have yet to hear: how long will it take for the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl matchups to be adapted into a major motion picture? It’s not a question of “if,” but “when.”
Since the initial battle between these two teams in the 2008 Superbowl, I give Hollywood credit for waiting this long. Surprising, when you consider that Michael Oher’s story (The Blind Side) was released only three years after it occurred. That story did not even feature a no-name player saving the game by catching a ball on his helmet. However, when it comes to turning great sports dramas into motion pictures, Hollywood’s timing can be sporadic.. Miracle and Invincible each took over twenty years to be created. Though, to be fair, it was only recently that a big following for sports films emerged.
The Giants-Patriots drama is too good for movie studios to ignore. Rewind to the climax of the 2007-2008 season. The New England Patriots had a chance to go undefeated on the line against the New York Giants who had been the underdogs in every playoff game. It was a classic David vs. Goliath matchup in almost every aspect of the game. Entering the season, Tom Coughlin’s players hated him and his job seemed insecure. On the other hand, despite his villain demeanor Bill Belichick was widely considered the best coach in football. Tom Brady was the Apollo Creed to Eli Manning’s Rocky. The Patriots even had the edge in mischievous, outcast wide receivers. But, against all odds the Giants learned to love and respect Tom Coughlin; Eli Manning won the game’s MVP award; and Plaxico Burress, rather than Randy Moss, caught the game-winning touchdown. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the two teams playing were from New York and New England?
If ever there was a drama that deserved a sequel it was this one. Now, four years later that will become a reality. Most of the key cogs are still in place. However, each team has added a few intriguing new characters. Most notably are the Giants’ Jason Pierre Paul who occasionally gives the impression that he is part mutant and the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski who in all likelihood is the son of Ivan Drago (the Russian villain from Rocky IV).
Furthermore, all signs point to today’s rematch being another nail biter. Rather than the David vs. Goliath feel of 2008, this game feels like it is a bout between two Goliaths. One; the Giants, representing good, and the other; the Patriots, representing evil. Vegas agrees that it will be close, putting the Giants as the three point favorite to prove to the world that Super Bowl XLII was not a fluke.
If I had proposed this two-movie script in 2006 I would have been told that it was too cheesy and farfetched. But congratulations Hollywood, it’s a true story. So what are you waiting for? Eli Manning has already said that he thinks James Van Der Beek should play him. Brad Pitt would be the natural choice for Tom Brady. And who else but Ian McDiarmid (the Sith Emperor from Star Wars) to portray Bill Belichick?
If Hollywood decides to pull out all the stops, this two part movie series has a chance to go down in history as one of the greatest sports movies ever made. I’m betting that Hollywood waits another four years to be sure they don’t have to turn the series into a trilogy. After a few years in production, it seems like 2020 would be a fair over/under for the first movie in the series to be produced. For now, though, I am content with seeing how the real-life drama of Super Bowl XLVI unfolds. Hopefully, it will be worthy of the silver screen.
Photo Credit: NFL.com