(Editor’s note: repost from Dec 7. in honor of the national title game tonight between Alabama and Georgia)
Friday will see the release of the new movie National Champions which depicts what might happen if a teams participating in the national title game decided to boycott it, as a way to stand up for player rights. The timing is perfect, as Sunday saw the College Football Playoff and bowl pairings announced, and today marks the enshrinement of the next College Football Hall of Fame class, which includes SMU legend Eric Dickerson. You can check out the trailer below:
Dickerson was at SMU during their most supposedly “scandalous” years, the era which saw them given the death penalty by the NCAA. Their story is the perfect example of just how broken the system is, and National Champions depicts how it could burst at the seams in real life.
Here’s the preview and plot synopsis: three days before the title game in New Orleans, star quarterback LeMarcus James (Stephan James) and teammate Emmett Sunday (Alexander Ludwig) lead a player’s strike, declaring they won’t compete until all student-athletes (a term that is legally nefarious all within itself) are fairly compensated.
As the hours until kickoff wind down, the head coach (J.K. Simmons) and various power brokers: Lil Rel Howery, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Bachelor, Jeffrey Donovan, David Koechner, Kristin Chenoweth (she’s reason enough to go see it- love her work!), Timothy Olyphant, Uzo Aduba) take sides to either protect or destroy the status quo.
Writer: Adam Mervis
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea and Greg Economou
#NationalChampionsMovie It opens in theaters December 10th; I’ll be attending a media sneak preview in Chicago tomorrow.
Click back on this site for more on this film, one that should intrigue any fan of college football and/or workers rights. For more on National Champions, follow the official National Champions social media accounts:
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”