There are few things I love more than college football, so every year, I watch as many football movies as I can in the week leading up to the first game. For fun, I thought I’d include you guys this year. Over the next week, I will post recaps of each movie in order to get us ready for kickoff. First up: “The Waterboy.”
THE WATERBOY (1998)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler
Short and insufficient plot summary: A 31-year-old waterboy discovers he can tackle, joins a college football team, and leads them to victory in the Bourbon Bowl.
Why it made the list: For some reason, I really love this movie. It was one of the last movies of Adam Sandler’s golden years of the mid to late 90’s (“Happy Gilmore” still reigns supreme). Like most Sandler movies, the plot and characters are totally silly, but if you think about it, “The Waterboy” is a Cinderella story. Bobby Boucher, a 31-year-old man who still lives with this mother, may have some mental health issues, but he makes some seriously good water. For years, he’s repressed the pain of being made fun of, and snaps after a player mocks him during a practice, tackling him to the ground with such force that the beleaguered coach (Henry Winkler) gives him a spot on the team. From there, he uses all the memories of people making fun of him as his “tackling fuel” and leads the team to a win over their rival in the Bourbon Bowl, while gaining plenty of friends, fans, and even a girlfriend along the way. Essentially, “The Waterboy” is “Rudy,” just on Adam Sandler’s level.
UK connection? Not really, unless Za’Darius Smith was previously the towel boy for East Mississippi Community College. However, the Mud Dogs do beat Louisville and Adam Sandler did wear that Kentucky shirt in that movie one time.
Bradley Dale Peveto as Farmer Fran
Not only do Farmer Fran and Peveto both coach the special teams, they both have Cajun accents. And, from what I’ve come to know of Peveto, he shares Farmer Fran’s fun-loving attitude. If Kentucky goes to a bowl game this season, do you think we’ll see Peveto shirtless on the sidelines pinching his nipples in delight?
Les Miles as Coach Red Beaulieu
Even though Gerry DiNardo was the coach at LSU (who the University of Louisiana Cougars seem to be based on) when this movie came out, I’m convinced Red Beaulieu was written with Les Miles in mind. They are the same person.
Rick Pitino as Coach Klein
Both coaches with seriously weird tattoos.
Erin Calipari as Vicky Valencourt
Both are a little vampy and would do anything to help their team. In Vicky’s case, she gave gave Bobby a sip of arctic water to revive him during the big game; in Erin’s case, she drops twitter bombs on Louisville and Rick Pitino to entertain us throughout the season.
Mark Emmert as Steve the Jackass
Fun fact: The movie includes cameos from Lynn Swann, Lawrence Taylor, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, and Paul Wight. Also, Sandler watched LaVar Arrington practice while he was at Penn State to prepare for the role.
Best line: Most people would go with Rob Schneider as the cajun townie saying “You can do it… you can do it all night loong!” at the end. However, his other line of “Oh no, we suck again!” got a lot of use by UK fans during the Joker years.
College football excitement ranking: On a level of 1 being “meh” to 10 being “SNARE DRUMS TRUMPETS GIMME THE BALL”, I’d rank “The Waterboy” at a 5, just because it’s not really about football at all, but it’s still a fun and silly movie to laugh at during lazy Saturdays on TBS.
Next up: “Varsity Blues”…