I mentioned yesterday that I thought the Southside Falcons story would make a good movie script. Bunch of poor kids on a Pop Warner football team coached by a pastor. They go undefeated and just need $20,000 to travel to Florida to play in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. The Morning News brings us an update on the story. Southwest Airlines stepped up to provide transportation to and from Florida. And a bunch of generous readers sent in money, too.
Boring! This is a lousy plot twist. See, here’s the way this thing should have unfolded: the star quarterback (again, Jaden Smith is a natural to play the role) is estranged from his father, a mid-level drug dealer who has spent most of the quarterback’s life behind bars. The quarterback, desperate for the $20k his team needs to travel to Florida, sneaks out of his grandmother’s house, where he lives, to pay a late-night visit to his father, who, because he’s desperate to reconnect with his son, agrees to help him raise the funds. There’s only one way to get that much money in a day’s time. They have to hit the stash house of the drug lord that the father works for. The father knows the stunt, if successful, will mark him for death. But he’s okay with that. At least he’ll die loved. Dad tells son he’ll have his money the next day.
At the last minute, though, the son decides he’d rather miss the football tournament in Florida and have an alive father. He sneaks out of school and runs to the drug lord’s stash house to stop his father. But it’s too late. He gets there just in time to see his dad stuffing bundles of cash into a duffle bag in the living room of the stash house. Weapons and drugs are everywhere. The guys who run the stash house lie hog-tied on the floor. The son tries to talk his father out of it, tells him to leave the cash and get out of there. The father says it’s too late. He’s doing it for his son. But in their heated exchange, the father is distracted and doesn’t notice that one of the stash house guys has slipped his ropes and gotten his hands on a pistol. In the ensuing gun battle, the quarterback is shot in the leg. Now they’ve got the money they need to go to Florida, but the kid can’t play. Ah, cruel fates!
In Florida, the team advances through the tournament by relying on a completely reworked offense that the pastor draws up on the long bus ride out there. He’s going with the wishbone! None of the other teams have had to defend against the wishbone! It’s just crazy enough that it might work!
Until the championship game against a powerhouse team of kids from Russia. Or China. Take your pick. But they are enormous kids. And they know how stop the wishbone. After the first half of play, it’s Southside Falcons 0, the Wu-Tang Clan 44. It’s hopeless. In the locker room, the pastor delivers an impassioned speech, but all the kids know it’s useless to try. The Wu-Tang Clan is too good against the wishbone. If only they had their star quarterback …
… who comes limping into the locker room and says he’s ready to suit up! There is much cheering. With blood seeping through his leg bandages, the star quarterback leads the Falcons in an improbable second-half comeback capped off by a flea flicker for an 87-yard gain. The receiver is tackled on the 1-yard line, and with time expiring, the quarterback calls his own number and plows into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
Cut to the Chinese team. They approach the exhausted Falcons quarterback with menacing looks on their faces. Oh no! A post-game melee? No! They line up and bow to the Falcons, a traditional Chinese way of showing respect. Hooray! The Falcons lift their quarterback onto their shoulders and carry him from the field. His father looks on with pride, tears welling in his eyes, knowing that he’ll be murdered if he ever returns to Dallas. He’ll have to light out for Canada to escape the drug lord’s wrath, and he’ll never see his son again. But at least he gave him that championship.
See, man? That’s how it’s done.