Watched “Remember the Titans” this weekend. What a great movie and soundtrack. Heard the following classic from War – once again, it is sing-a-long time….
“I was once out strolling, one very hot summer’s day, when I thought I’d lay myself down to rest in a big field with tall grass. I laid there in the sun, felt it caress my face as I fell asleep and dreamed. I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie, and that I was the star of the movie. This really blew my mind, the fact that me, an overfed, long-haired, weeping gnome should be the star of a Hollywood movie. There I was. I was taken to a place, the Hall of the Mountain King. I stood high upon a mountaintop, naked with the world in front of every kind of girl. There were strong ones, tall ones, short ones, brown ones, black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones. Out of the middle came a lady. She whispered in my ear, something crazy. She said: Spill the wine, dig that girl. Spill the wine. Spill the wine, dig that girl. Dig that girl. Spill the wine, dig that girl. Spill the wine. Spill the wine, dig that girl.”
Spill the wine – Eric Burdon & War
The movie is about football but more importantly, it is about life. It is about overcoming adversity, conquering your fears, dispelling deeply rooted and unfounded prejudices, building friendships and respect for others, defining a goal and doing everything possible to achieve that goal.
The movie is set at a time of racial unrest in the US. It is 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia, where T. C. Williams High School has just been desegregated, so tensions in the town are at an all time high. It is about prejudice, it is not fair and it presents incredible odds to be successful. It is about the human spirit, about persevering, about personal growth and about creating a winning attitude. Driven by the need to illustrate that the school board is behind desegregation, an African American head coach Herman Boone is hired to lead the school’s football team. Coach Boone takes the coaching position from current head coach Bill Yoast who not only has been an incredibly successful coach in his own right but who has been nominated for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, and initially rejects the idea of remaining as an assistant coach on the team. In a show of respect and in an attempt to ease racial tension, Boone offers an assistant coaching position to Yoast. Yoast at first refuses Boone’s offer, but is then tempted to join after the white players pledge to boycott the team if he doesn’t participate. Dismayed at the prospect of the students losing their chances at scholarships, Yoast changes his mind and takes up the position of defensive coordinator. The black and white athletes of the football team frequently clash in racially motivated conflicts at their football camp, including those between captain Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell.
However, after forceful coaxing and rigorous athletic training by Boone, the team achieves both racial harmony and triumph. In one scene, Coach Boone wakes the team u around 3:00 AM and takes them to a cemetery where Battle of Gettysburg was fought and delivers a speech about hatred. After returning from football camp, Boone is told by a member of the school board that if he loses even a single game, he will be fired. Subsequently, the Titans go through the season undefeated while battling racial prejudice, before slowly gaining support from the community.
If you have not seen the movie in a while, watch it again. If you feel as if your life is full of adversity and challenges, well it is and it always will be. Tackle those challenges with the same intensity as the Titans.