Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Kinnanes Collect Their Bounty with ‘Home Team’

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By: Sharlyn Tabaco

For any big football fan, the notorious Bountygate scandal of the 2010 season is likely familiar. Sean Peyton, former coach to the New Orleans Saints, alongside other members of the team was accused of having given out bounties in exchange for injuring players on the opposing teams. 

This scandal led to the suspension of head coach Peyton which resulted in him having to return to his hometown for the following season. Netflix’s newest collaboration with Happy Madison follows the story of coach Peyton and the events resulting from the Bountygate scandal. The movie, “Home Team”, claims to be based on a true story which, technically it is, though it hardly mentions the scandal itself throughout the story.

The movie begins with coach Sean Peyton, played by Kevin James, winning the 2010 Superbowl. After very joyful opening to, the movie follows Peyton’s dismissal for the next season due to the accusations against him and his team.

This leads Peyton to return to his hometown of Argyl, Texas where he is hoping to reconnect with his sixth grade son, who has also taken an interest in the sport. After attending his son’s game and providing the team’s head coach Troy Lambert, played by Taylor Laughtner, with some pointers which led to the team’s first touchdown of the season, Peyton is offered a position as defensive coordinator for the team and he accepted.

Through the progression of the movie, we see Peyton begin to treat the sixth-grade team as if it were his former NFL team. He benched weaker players for multiple consecutive weeks and played his strongest players to their limit.

Eventually this leads to some issues with his son, but these issues are quickly resolved after Peyton realizes that his relationship with his son and the happiness of a group of young boys is far more important than the feeling of victory from winning a championship game.

The movie gives off a family friendly feel but it does pose the question: Would Peyton have felt the same need to reconnect with his son had he not been suspended and forced to return home?

While the film is quite enjoyable, it does not necessarily include many details regarding the Bountygate scandal. The movie includes a few scenes where the subject is brought up though not much information is provided by the character of Sean Peyton, instead when he is asked by his son if he did “it” he responds by telling him that as head coach he is to take responsibility for the events whether he knew or not, but he does not provide a clear response.

This is a heartwarming movie with a classic ending of learning lessons over winning the championship but unfortunately, the movie certainly lacks strength in humor and strength in detail regarding the scandal which leads the main character into this life-changing perspective.

It is surely not Happy Madison best productions best, but the movie can still be fairly good if you disregard the lack of facts and detail.

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