A Love Letter To The Best Bad Football Movie Ever: Draft Day
The year is 2014. I just settled in to watch Kingsmen and the trailers start. And its a sports movie….about the NFL draft. It was creatively called “Draft Day” and it looked incredibly bad.
I even remember saying aloud “my god that movie looks atrocious!” But then fast forward to August on a random tuesday night after the Phillies had gotten schellacked and there I am watching a 10:45 showing of draft day. Total hypocrite move. But little did I know that when I bought the movie ticket, I just paid $8.50 to watch the BEST bad football movie Ive ever watched.
HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD (for a movie that’s been out for 7 years)
Lets break down this movie like Im Mel Kiper breaking down tape of a QB from North Texas.
The movie follows around the Cleveland Browns and their GM Sonny Weaver Jr. Weaver is running the Browns and is being heavily criticized because he fired the legendary coach of the Browns (who recently passed away) who was his own father. On top of that, the owner of the Browns drags Sonny to a water park demanding he make a “splash”….at a water park. GENIUS!
Sonny had gotten a call earlier in the day from the Seahawks who owned the #1 pick. But Sonny scoffed at the offer. Now with demands from the owner, and sports radio callers wondering how much time he has left at the job, he decides to take Seattle up on their offer. Only the offer changed, and Sonny gives in. He trades his first round picks for the next 3 years, moving from pick 7.
This move was done for Wisconsin cant miss quarterback Bo Callahan. But as the day goes on Sonny starts to question if Bo is the right guy for the job. Eventually when the Browns are on the clock, he shocks the world drafting Ohio State LB Vontae Mack, a player he easily couldve gotten at 7. Sonny is ripped to shreds
But just when everyone thinks Sonny Weaver Jr. is the biggest idiot of all time (he is by the way, Im getting to that)
Because when the Browns passed on the golden boy other teams started to get concerned that there was a video of Callahan with a gas mask on. Suddenly hes sliding and it looks like the Seahawks are going to end up with Callahan AND the Browns #1 picks for the next 3 years at 7
Sonny takes advantage of the new GM of the Jaguars. And since the Jags are gonna Jags, he bullies the kid into trading him pick 6 for 3 second round picks over the next 3 seasons. Telling the GM “itll give you time to regroup.” and the kid took it. Weaver then gets the Seahawks on the phone and swaps pick 6 for pick 7 BUT he gets ALL of his picks he originally traded to the Seahawks AND DAVID F#$%ING PUTNEY! (a special teamer.)
The Browns draft Florida State RB Ray Jennings with the 7th overall pick. A great back who is the son of a Browns legend but has some character flaws. Dont worry, he called Sonny and apologized for those and even said he WANTED to be a Brown. Who can deny a young man that wish? Sonny Weaver is lauded!
HERE IS WHY IT SUCKS (the good is coming)
First of all, the year this movie came out, Seattle had won the Super Bowl. So Im sitting there watching the best team in football with the first overall pick. Cmon writers! Do your research. But the trade itself wasnt that awful. Its a lot to give up, but the fact that Sonny Weaver Jr. made this trade not knowing 100% that he was going to take Bo Callahan is a move that even Howie Roseman thinks is stupid.
The first chink in Bo Callahan’s armour came when Vontae Mack told Sonny to “watch the tape again” and suddenly Sonny notices that Bo gets skittish anytime Mack rushes in. Now Mack had four sacks in the game, so who could blame Bo for being skittish because his offensive line didnt show up that day. But the Cleveland Browns front office is “combing” over their Bo Callahan research and NO ONE noticed this? No one? They were too busy pointing out all the women Bo Callahan got, but not his one bad game (a game he won.) No wonder the Browns are a dumpster fire.
But this wasnt the only knock on Bo. Sonny sends a private investigator after Bo at the last second. And boy did this guy, in all of about 12 hours, find some stuff. You ready for this? NONE OF HIS TEAMMATES CAME TO THE KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTY.” You read that correct. GIANT red flag…..uh huh. Sonny even called the head coach of Wisconsin and basically gets laughed off the phone for suggesting that NONE of the 90 players at Wisconsin said “yea, im not doing anything Saturday. Ill go to Benihana with the future first overall pick.”
But then there was the lie. Bo Callahan becomes the first quarterback to lie to a team when a team did the ol Randall Cunningham idea of taping a $100 bill to the back of a playbook. This allows the team to ask “did you read the whole playbook” and if they mention the $100 bill then the team “knows” the guy isnt lying. But Bo never mentioned the $100. Forgetting to mention it. And when the topic was brought up he laughed it off and said “oh yea, good one guys.”
This isnt proof that he lied. The kids about to be a millionaire, what does he care about one Ben Franklin staring back at him? But it gets worse for Bo. Because ONE player actually mailed the $100 BACK to the team and said “save it for when I win you the Super Bowl.” And that quarterback was none other than injury prone, mid round pick….Brian Drew.
So combine all of this information, and Sonny decided that Bo Callahan was a bust. Picking a guy he couldve gotten at 7, all because in the morning he wrote on a post it note “Vontae Mack No Matter WHAT!” Oh, and mortgaging the future of the franchise on top of it. He then COMPLETELY lucks out because apparently NO TEAM thought to trade up for, at the time, the best quarterback to come out since Andrew Luck. Every NFL team thought “well if the Browns passed on him then he MUST be a bust…” because, ya know, the NFL always follows the lead of the Browns.
The fact is, in 1000 times out of 1000 the way this REALLY plays out is Sonny drafts Vontae Mack AND THE VERY NEXT TEAM takes Bo Callahan. There is no slide. There is no absurd trade with the Jaguars. Ray Jennings goes to another team. Sonny Weaver Jr is (RIGHTFULLY) mocked and ridiculed as arguably the worst general manager in NFL history.
The Browns go into the season with mediocre injury prone (but hey, guys got the heart of a lion and you cant teach that) quarterback Brian Drew. The Browns finish 2-14 because they have no running game, no offensive line. And of course, no David Putney. Mack looks like the real deal, but Bo Callahan goes on to win offensive Rookie of the Year and Mack is always punished for being taken by an idiot. Sonny is fired at the end of the season.
Sonny Weaver is basically the real life story of Bill O’Brien.
The movie is so bad its good. The acting is horrible. This movie took competent actors and made them look BAD (looking at you Dennis Leary.) its incredible cheesy. And yet every single draft day I make some sort of “Vontae Mack No MATTER WHAT!” joke. The script is painful, but in a “car crash that I cant look away” sort of way.
Let me be clear. Draft Day is not a good movie. But instead its an INCREDIBLE bad movie. When its on, im watching it. I live for Sonny Weaver Jr lucking his way to a LB, a RB, and a special teamer that is made out to be Devin Hester and Donte Hall all rolled up into one. I get hung up on Jennifer Garner being so eager to talk football. And I get engrossed in the head coach pulling a Chip Kelly and trying to finagle a trade to Buffalo behind Sonny’s back because the coach realizes that Sonny is a moron.
I have ripped this movie to shreds, but its all out of love. Because if I can find this many faults (and believe it or not, I could go on. I have more) and still love it, than its the sign of something special.
VONTAE. MACK. NO MATTER WHAT.