With the arrival of the offseason, fans will keep track of the moves and transactions their teams are making as we head closer to the start of the 2017 season. There is also another thing to keep track of, summer blockbusters! Who doesn't love a trip to the movies with your friends and family during the summer time? Of course, the biggest are the numerous superhero films that are released to monster box office money and acclaim from fans and critics alike. Now, if you are a fan of the New England Patriots, you are probably looking forward to the movies that will be released in the coming years.
Not one but two movies about Patriots players are now in the works. The first is about the story of Malcolm Butler. Producer Daniel Levin acquired the rights to the young cornerback's story and the biopic will be called "The Secondary". Butler has a pretty interesting story. In the spring of 2014, Butler was working at a Popeye's restaurant in Mississippi hoping for a Patriots scout to sign him. He then went from undrafted free agent, to a Super Bowl hero, to a starting number one cornerback for the Patriots and helping them win their fifth championship.
The second movie in the works, and this one might be the first of many, is about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The film will be made by writers Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson. The same team that wrote "Patriots Day" and "The Fighter", which ironically enough, starred Patriots fan Mark Wahlberg. The film will document the Deflategate scandal and show Brady's journey from suspension to Super Bowl champion. So if you are a fan of the Patriots, a football fan in general, or love a great underdog story that is made for cinema, including myself, you will look forward to the Butler film. If you are a Patriots fan who thinks that the NFL and the media is against you for some reason, then you are absolutely looking forward to this Brady film.
The Baltimore Ravens have had one well known cinematic film that was released back in 2009 about one of their former players that was drafted with their 1st round pick that same year. You know him as Michael Oher. The film "The Blind Side", tells the story of Oher's rough upbringing, to being taking in by the Tuohy family and becoming a star football player for his high school that would lead him to Ole Miss, and eventually to the Ravens where he spent five years with the team.
While this wasn't a cinamatic film, there was an ESPN 30 for 30 entitled "The Band That Wouldn't Die", a documentary which told the story of the infamous Baltimore Colts marching band fighting for an NFL team to return to Baltimore after the Colts left in the middle of the night for Indianapolis.
With that being said, I decided to take a look at a few former Ravens who could be viable contenders for a cinematic movie being released based on their careers and stories. The Ravens have been known for bringing in players such as Oher who've had stories to tell and guys you just root for to succeed. The stories don't stop at the players, they even go right to the top at the owners box. Which leads us to our first candidate.
To be fair, if you are a Cleveland Browns fan, there is no way you would want this film to be released. No one would blame you. However, If you look deeper into the Ravens first owner, there is a great story in Modell. A story of sadness and triumph at the same time.
At the age of 14, Modell's father passed away and at the age of 15, Modell left high school to support his family. Modell went from working at a Brooklyn shipyard, to joining the U.S. Army Corps for World War II, to creating his own production company and creating one of the first daytime shows in America called "Market Melodies".
Modell eventually worked in the advertising, public relations businesses and television production in New York City before purchasing the Browns in 1961 for $4 million.
From then on, the film can document his feud with legendary head coach Paul Brown and being very influential on the popularity of the NFL. When it comes to the Cleveland area, Modell was a big member of the community and was very big on fundraising for charities. He even held fundraisers for candidates of the Republican party during his time. This can all lead up to the move to Baltimore and becoming one of the most hated men in the state of Ohio and one of the most beloved in the state of Maryland at the same time.
The story culminates in the one prize that eluded Modell his entire NFL career, the Super Bowl trophy. With him holding up the Lombardi trophy with many fans in Baltimore cheering, but another fanbase is left with the thought of what could've been. Modell's story would be interesting to tell on the big screen.
This script seems too easy to pass up. Here's a guy who grew up without his father, who was incarcerated on drug charges. While attending his high school in Lakeland, Florida, he made it a goal of his to break every record his father had in an effort to erase his father from his memory once and for all.
Lewis attended the University of Miami and led the Big East in tackles the last two years he attended. Lewis then became the Baltimore Ravens second draft pick ever back in 1996 and in the first four years of his career, he became one of the best middle linebackers and defensive players in all of football.
Lewis had it all, and was just beginning a career that looked so promising, until one night almost destroyed everything. In early 2000, Ray Lewis, Reginald Oakley, and Joseph Sweeting were arrested for the murders of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar that were committed on January 31, after a Super Bowl party outside an Atlanta nightclub. Lewis would testify against Oakley and Sweeting in exchange for a plea deal negotiated by his lawyers that got the murder charges dropped. Lewis settled for a guilty plea for a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. Lewis would be fined $250,000 by the NFL and when the Ravens won the Super Bowl that season, he was not invited to Disney World.
Ever since then, Ray has had to fight for his innocence and has openly discussed that night numerous times as something that changed his life. Ray turned his life around and became a model citizen and one of Baltimore's biggest contributors in the community. He even won the "Act Of Kindness" award for his work in the community. Ray's football career speaks for itself, but the most impressive thing about him is how he has recovered from that night in Atlanta and has not let that night define who he was and his legacy. No matter what, the word "murderer" will always be the description that will follow Lewis forever, but how he has responded and has made sure to make an impact on other peoples lives like Bill Warble, a man who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sadly passed away in 2012, display's Ray's true character in a way some might not expect. Lewis has also reconnected with his father. A big screen feature film about Ray Lewis would be a tale of someone learning from his mistakes and using it to change his life for the better instead of becoming a human tragedy like Lawrence Phillips or O.J. Simpson.
Torrey Smith is one of the NFL's ultimate good guys, and in an era where the NFL has been the poster child for bad player behavior, Smith and his story is something that should be told to everybody.
Smith was born in Colonial Beach, Virginia and was the oldest of seven children. Smith would help his single mother around the house and took care of his six siblings. Smith became less of a brother, and more like a father to his brothers and sisters. His mother attended Rappaahannock Community College and worked at night. What's even more amazing was the fact that even with the responsibility he had, he became a top student in school.
Smith would attend the University of Maryland and started at wide receiver for three seasons before being drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Ravens.
Smith would struggle throughout the preseason and training camp, but he never quit and would break out in Week 3 of the 2011 season catching his first three receptions for touchdowns in a win against the St. Louis Rams. Smith became a speedy playmaker for quarterback Joe Flacco that was displayed throughout the season.
In 2012, tragedy struck the family as Smith's 19-yeard old younger brother Tevin Jones was killed in a motorcycle accident. On that same day, the Ravens were hosting the Patriots in a rematch from the previous years AFC Championship game and Smith left the team hotel room at 2 a.m. to be with his family. No one would've blamed him if he decided not to play in that game, but somehow, someway, he played. Not only did he play, he caught 6 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. To this day, I have no idea how Smith played through all those circumstances. It wasn't just his brother he lost, he raised him. Smith showed the heart of a warrior and he was the best player on the field that night.
Smith would only play two more seasons in Baltimore before signing with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 as he continues his playing career. Smith has made an impact not just on the field, but off it with his Torrey Smith Foundation and telling his tale to everybody. One of the NFL's ultimate good guys has more chapters to write in this story.
What former or even current Ravens would you like to see be featured on the big screen one day?