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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rough Notes on Glory Road

Sadly, I don't have time to do a Netflix diary of this Disneyized account of the white vs. black 1966 NCAA Championship team. Nor do I even have time to put my thoughts into paragraphs. What you are about to see is my raw, unorganized thoughts and ramblings as I saw the film. I found them a little entertaining, and I hope you do as well. Sometimes things are better raw, like carrots for example.

It’s like the American south in the 60’s as translated through Hollywood movies from then until now.*

Lots of obligatory scenes. Obligatory black kids singing 50's songs scene. Obligatory “West Texas is hickville” scene. Obligatory white kids and black kids fight scene. Obligatory black panther character scenes. Obligatory “the MAN won’t allow you to recruit black players” scene. More obligatory white-black fighting. Obligatory 60’s music in the background. Obligatory black kids making fun of white kids. Non-obligatory (and totally insane but kinda funny) mom sitting in class scene**. Obligatory old southern white guys with glasses judging the black kids. Obligatory black kid with a drug problem. Obligatory white people not clapping for black people. Obligatory “do what you love” speech. Obligatory unrealistic non-cussing basketball coaches. Obligatory black people and white people become friends scene. Obligatory boombox war, in an era before boomboxes. Obligatory “team is winning” montage. Obligatory “wet blanket”(copyright Bill Simmons) wife scene. Obligatory former “playa” starts to care and has to deal with his new feelings scene. Obligatory footage of Vietnam while “People Get Ready” plays in the background. Obligatory destroyed hotel room scene. Non-obligatory and quite puzzling reverse-racism-related loss to Seattle.

The racists in this film are so non-commital, like they don’t intend to be racist…”He doesn’t need those kids to win, does he?” The lynchers give the kid a swirly, for pete’s sake.

They’re mixing up the eras of trash-talking. “Bad” didn’t mean good until at least the 80’s. Why not yo mama jokes as well? Why not baggy shorts and people saying “You go girl”?

It’s a cheesy Disney movie with cheesy Disney dialogue. The songs are oppressive and gave me Forrest Gump flashbacks. Josh Davis is horrible. Kevin Costner would have been an improvement, so says my wife. But not Ben Affleck (who almost took the part), so says my wife.

When did Texas Western become UTEP?*** Is it because of the black people?

Is that the chick from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire? Is that Devin Harris? Isn’t this an excessive amount of dunks for a 60’s game? Weren’t dunks outlawed until the 70’s?****

Coach lets them play “black,” they start winning. Racist. Bobby Knight must be rolling over in his Indiana undead grave. He hates that. At least they beat Iowa.

They play 2000’s-style dunk-ball. This is why we’re getting beat in the Olympics, btw.

*Specifically "Remember the Titans," another disneyized retelling of a "true" story of a team being integrated and overcoming racism. But also every other movie involving race relations. You'd know what I'm talking about if you saw it.

** It was admittedly funny when the mom sat behind the kid, but any claims the movie had at being serious or relevant went out the window during the scene. She might as well have been played by Martin Lawrence -- if you're going to do wacky, go all out.

*** Answer: 1967, a year after the events of this movie.

**** Answers, in order: Yes, no, yes, no.


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