Thursday, August 7, 2008
All The Right Moves
(Editor's note: The following post is from colleague and Post-Gazette sports writer Colin Dunlap. Enjoy.)
The esteemed Mr. Kovak,
As a devout reader and unabashed fan of The Varsity Letters, and a colleague who has shared press row with you on numerous occasions, I hope you can understand the level of which I both admire and gain inspiration from your work.
You are one of the best people out there covering high schools, and you are also one of the good guys.
In one instance, though, you are something else: an utter knucklehead who has no idea what he’s talking about. That instance would be down the right side of The Varsity Letters where you list the greatest sports movies, denoted sequentially Nos. 1-10.
And now, Mr. Kovak, to my true point — HOW IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA IS ‘ALL THE RIGHT MOVES’ NOT ON THIS LIST!!!!!!!!!!
If I were compiling a list, there is a good chance it would be not just on the list, but at the top of the list. Yes, I said it, the absolute best sports movie of all time and, my journalistic brother in arms, I will give you reasons why:
- Nickerson (Craig T. Nelson) is a masterful coach as he leads the Ampipe High School Bulldogs. Much better than a guy who looked just like him who coached the Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles.
- Defensive back Stefan Djordjevic (Tom Cruise) is a stud, but if you really watch the Ampipe defense, schematically linebacker Brian Riley (Chris Penn) is the man who makes them go. I mean, after all, he got offered a scholarship by Southern Cal.
- There are multiple references to Iron City Beer. And also plenty of Iron City Beer signage.
- Don Yannessa is in the movie as Walnut Heights’ coach.
- Salvucci (Paul Carafotes) is completely insane on Friday nights. All great high school football teams have a guy like that.
- Lea Thompson ... enough said.
- The fat booster, Bosco (James Baffico), is everything you want in a booster. The guy is loyal to the point where he is ready to throw punches if someone speaks ill of grand old Ampipe High.
Mr. Kovak, really, I could go on and on and on. I mean, this list as to why All the Right Moves is the best sports movie ever could be 142,474,184 bullet points long, but I will just leave it at seven.
So, let this correspondence from me to you be forever a reminder of how you let all of Western Pennsylvania down by failing to give this cinematic gem its props.
All the best,