Well, we're coming off of the closest of the first-round match-ups to date. . .one that, sadly, didn't get as many votes as I had hoped it would. 156 votes were cast in the battle between Friday Night Lights and Varsity Blues, and in what I would deem as a mild upset, Varsity Blues will be moving on to the next round by a margin of 81 to 75.
Our final match-up of the first round pits yet another high school football film against kids that are starting football at a slightly younger age.
Remember The Titans is the story of Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), who is a black man hired as the head football coach at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. The football team at the school is a mixture of black and white players, and there is a great deal of racial tension both in the locker room and in the classroom. Boone takes over the head coaching position from the legendary Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Boone offers Yoast an assistant coaching spot with the team, and Yoast refuses at first, but then accepts after the team's white players threaten to boycott the season if he doesn't accept it.
The white and black players on the team still continue to clash in racially motivated conflicts at their football camp, but Boone is eventually able to get them to work together. After returning from the football camp, Boone is told by a member of the school board that if the team loses so much as one game, Boone will be fired. The team triumphs despite having to deal with biased officiating and other major obstacles.
Little Giants is a comedy about pee-wee football, and triumphing despite being told that you're simply not good enough to do so.
Kevin O'Shea (Ed O'Neill) is the head coach of the Pee-Wee Cowboys of Urbania, Ohio. Danny O'Shea (Rick Moranis) is Kevin's younger brother that has always lived in his big brother's shadow. After Danny's daughter Becky doesn't make the Cowboys, she convinces her dad to start up a second pee-wee team in the town for the kids that didn't make the cut for the Cowboys. Danny is reluctant to do so at first, but decides to take on the job in an attempt to establish himself as being independent of his older brother.
Kevin reminds Danny that the rules state that each town can only have one team, so Danny challenges him to a playoff game to see which team would represent Urbania. The Little Giants get some help from the likes of John Madden, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Tim Brown, and Steve Emtman, and find themselves well-prepared for their playoff game against the Cowboys.
Pretty good match-up to conclude the first round of our tournament, in my opinion. So, go ahead, ladies and gentlemen. . .have at it!