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Undefeated

With Mike Pesca in for Tom Ashbrook

The Oscar-winning tale of an inner city football team that transcends what you know about sports story-telling.

In this film image released by The Weinstein Company, a scene is shown from "Undefeated." (AP)

In this film image released by The Weinstein Company, a scene is shown from "Undefeated." (AP)

The Manassas High School Tigers were bad, so bad that other football teams paid them to come, play, and get beaten.  But a new coach breathed life and hope into this inner city team.

At this point, even the staunchest football fan feels his body rejecting the inevitable sports movie cavalcade of cliché.  But here’s the thing – it’s non fiction. And it’s compelling – compelling to the point of an academy award nomination

This hour, On Point: A sports story you won’t believe if it weren’t real

-Mike Pesca

Guests

Daniel Lindsay, he is the co-director of Undefeated.

T. J. Martin, he is the co-director of Undefeated.

Bill Courtney, former volunteer coach for Manassas High School’s football team, the Tigers.

From The Reading List

Wall Street Journal “Sports movies are metaphors for meritocracy: Play well, do well. You gotta have heart, and if you do, you win, even against underfunding, injuries and overwhelming odds. It’s how we’d like to think about politics, although we’d sooner believe a 3-D alien-invasion movie.”

LA Times “Like all memorable sports documentaries — and this Oscar-nominated film is definitely one of those — “Undefeated” is really an examination not of how games are won and lost but how lives are lived, how young people faced with daunting challenges come to see, often in the most dramatic fashion, what is important going forward and what is not.”

Time “It’s ten times less condescending than The Blind Side, but because it’s essentially a portrait of a white guy lending a helping hand to troubled black youth in helmets and pads, it’s hard not to draw comparisons between Bill Courtney and Blind’ssassy bundle of goodwill, Leigh Anne Tuohy.”

Video: ‘Undefeated’ Trailer

Here is the trailer for the documentary Undefeated.

Playlist

“Seven Years Light” by RJD2
“Brighter Tomorrow” by Soul Swingers
“Undefeated” by Miles Spence Nielson & Daniel James McMahon

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  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    This looks great. Football doesn’t build character, it reveals character. Excellent.

    • RolloMartins

      The only thing football (and hockey and boxing) reveals is a likely case of some neurodegenerative disease down the road, such as pugilistic syndrome or encephalopathy. That any parent lets a child of theirs play this “game” is unfortunate. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/15/3/163.abstract

      • http://twitter.com/CavsCoachBailey Kevin Bailey

        Spoken like someone who is both a know-it-all, and has never played any of the sports which you criticize.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Kevin, Mjbjr, With all due respect guys, you are evidently unaware of the studies that bear out what Rollo says.  MANY football players develop various mental problems, and some get strokes, from repetitive concussions and other injuries. 
             Be my guest, and look them up?

      • Mjbjr

        Give me a f***ing break
        Seriously…dislodge your head from whichever crevasse it is stuck, get over yourself and keep quiet about that which you don’t know 

  • Rowan

    It is troubling that the local news will always broadcast the bad things happening in any depressed community when there are good things happening in the community that are worthy of an Oscar nomination!!!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      It wasn’t an ‘instant’ story?   Something that local news could boil down to 2 minutes?  Do people turn off the good news, looking for gore etc…?

  • Jujoone

    This coach is an amazing person.

  • jim

    This coach is truly inspiring.

  • Sam

    Is there a chance they started winning and improving BECAUSE the lens was on them?

    Not to downplay the role of the coach and all the hard work, effort and inspiration, but people tend to act differently when they KNOW they are being watched.

    Thank you

  • Sam

    I don’t like sport movies, but I do like the story of resilience. So, this is definitely on my to-watch list.

    Thank you for making this film and I am so glad to know that there are people out there like the coach, who believe and work hard and sacrifice of themselves for others.
    It is truly inspiring.

  • Sam

    You know why it is so amazing and inspiring?! Because it is SO RARE.

    I hope it inspires more people to give of themselves, to believe, to step up to the plate, not because you will get recognition or fame, but because it is the right thing to do and you have the capacity and ability to make a difference.

    Big kudos and thank you to Bill! You have changed more than one life and for the better.

  • Sam

    Congratulations to the directors on winning the Oscar!!!!

  • http://cheappendantscharms.com/travel-related-charms/ dgdfa

    There’s an considerable number of walking tours to decide amongst. Uncover places of London which you had been wholly ignorant for a Globe/Borough Market tour or maybe a Capital of scotland- London (Monument) tour. Take a Modifying from the Guard walking tour. You may remain enthralled by the spectacle from this age-old ritual. For something totally unique altogether, take a Jack the Ripper walking tour, that will maybe you’ve relive an particularly brutal side of Victorian London.

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