Tonight I sat watching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in his movie The Game Plan. Johnson plays a professional football quarterback named Joe Kingman. As the movie came to a close I could not help but think about the correlations between his team, the Boston Rebels, and the Houston Texans. You see, Kingman was attempting to lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in team history…but that is only the beginning of the story.
Without giving a full synopsis of the movie I will say that Kingman discovers his true identity as the movie progresses. Much like the Texans have this year he goes through both the highs and lows but manages to come out swinging in the end. Sure, he is the starting quarterback and he survives the entire season (unlike Matt and Matt) but that is a mute point.
You see, Kingman has to fight to gain true respect from his fans and his teammates. In many ways this is what the Texans have had to do. For the last nine years the Texans have attempted to find their identity, to garner true respect from their fans and from the national media. They have had many setbacks leading up to, and through, this year. They have faced obstacles so large that it seemed impossible to keep pressing on yet they have overcome.
As The Game Plan nears its end the Rebels are in their championship game. With less than two minutes remaining in the game Kingman comes onto the field hoping to lead his team 74 yards for a game-winning touchdown. His team is down by four points and the only way to win is with a touchdown…with an injured quarterback at the helm.
Kingman’s first play after his return to the game is a dump-off pass that is turned into some good positive yardage for his team. Needing to stop the clock, on the next down, Kingman holds onto the ball and scrambles forward for around 20 yards (T.J. Yates), the first down, and stops the clock.
Now the Rebels find themselves on the opponents 17-yard line with four seconds left in the game. Kingman takes the snap, does a three-step drop, scans the field looking for an open receiver and connects with his WR (Yates to Walter) in the endzone for the touchdown. The team has done it – they won their first ever championship and Kingman has the respect of everyone!
I could not help but think about how much this final drive in the movie was reminiscent of the Texans’ final drive against the Cincinnati Bengals. Here they were, down by six points, in the fourth quarter of the game, with less than two minutes to drive 80 yards in hopes of winning their first playoff berth.
In an attempt to keep his team alive rookie quarterback T.J. Yates scrambled for 17 yards and the first down. On the next play he spikes the ball and stops the clock. Three plays later he connects with WR Kevin Walter on a 13 yard pass for the game winning touchdown and the team’s first ever playoff appearance.
Now, while I am not saying that the Texans’ game against the Bengals was scripted I could not help but laugh at the similarities between the fictional Boston Rebels and our own Houston Texans. This team has bled together, fought together, and overcome together. Their battle-cry has been that they are playing unselfish football – they play for each other. Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the Texans have continued to bring the “next man up” throughout this season.
Their tenacity and drive has made them one of the best teams in the NFL behind the most dominant and fearsome defense in the league. These are our Houston Texans and you had better follow our “game plan” because we are Bulls on Parade!!