Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 by sccl_smart_investing
Undefeated Have you seen the dark horse 2012 Academy Award winning documentary feature about high school football? It's an amazing true story with compelling characters, exciting game action and a great urban gospel soundtrack. As with many documentary labors of love, this film has an fascinating back story.
Four years ago, filmmakers Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin set out to film the odyssey of Manassas offensive lineman O.C. Brown. It was a story reminiscent of “The Blind Side.” Brown, a talented black football player from North Memphis, was living part-time with an upper-class white family as he chased his dream of playing college football.
Turns out that was just part of the story.
“We quickly realized there could be a greater film if we followed the season of the team itself,” Martin said. So Martin and Lindsay spent the fall of 2009 documenting the team's turbulent season. The resulting work, “Undefeated,” is a moving and inspirational film that explores the dynamics of sport and the elusive prospect of success. In contrasting the interlinked fates of the coach and three complicated players, Lindsay and Martin examine class, race and teamwork within this sports rubric. I found Montrail "Money" Brown's story to be the most interesting.
You need to know that for years, the Manassas football team had been known throughout Tennessee as a laughingstock -- or a “whipping boy” as one infamous newspaper headline succinctly summed it up. Schools near and far lined up to schedule Manassas for their homecoming games, knowing it was a guaranteed win. In the spring of 2004 Big Daddy Snowflake aka Bill Courtney came into the picture. A former high school football coach turned lumber salesman, he volunteered to lend a hand. As a result, Manassas entered the 2009 season with an opportunity to do something no team in program history had ever done -- win a playoff game.
The filmmakers amassed more than 500 hours of footage over four months. “We shot every practice,” Martin said. They used the time to establish a trust with Courtney and the players that is evident in the film.Be sure to watch the end credits, as the film makers reveal what became of the principals in this movie after that 2009 season.