Director: Taylor Hackford
Year Released: 1988
Ah yes, the trials and tribulations of the Great American Athlete - in this case it centers on star quarterback Gavin Grey (Dennis Quaid), who plays for (the non-existent) Louisiana University, pals around with his blood relative Cake (Timothy Hutton) and teammate Bull (John Goodman), marries the school sweetheart Babs (Jessica Lange) ... and then doesn't know what to do with himself when his career is over. It's based on the novel by Frank Debord, who knew the sporting world extensively, but it can't help but be predictable and crammed together: it's trying to stuff a whole lot of goings-on into a relatively short period of time (by the end, Quaid's a lumping husk of sadness ... as expected). There's the weakest attempt to bring up race relations - involving African American athlete Narvel Blue (Carl Lumbly) - but it doesn't go through with it, and when it wipes out Goodman's ball-of-energy early on, it loses a lot of its charm. But look at the bright side: Hutton's professor gets his "dream job" working at a certain (cough, cough) East Coast university ... and his girlfriend (played by Patricia Clarkson) is correct: football at my alma mater is not a religious experience. Pre-gaming, on the other hand, most certainly is....