‘Draft Day’ tied to real Browns by name only

Draft_Day_poster

BY TROY PHILLIPS

Sonny Weaver Jr., that’s the name of the general manager of the Cleveland Browns in the upcoming film Draft Day. 

It’s not  Michael Lombardi or Ray Farmer, it’s Kevin Costner, playing a fictional GM who is portrayed as the head of a competent front office, which should be your first hint that this film is not based on a true story.

Don’t write “Draft Day” off as a loser, at least not yet.

To reaffirm that point, I direct you to this salient piece of information, courtesy of Jim Slater and Yahoo! Sports:

Reitman noted that the film, the first made in conjunction with the NFL and partly filmed at last year’s draft, was written to be about the Buffalo Bills. But better state tax rebates saw the project tweaked to feature another long-struggling team with a devoted following, the Cleveland Browns.

Basically, the producers would have tried to pass the Montreal Expos off as a current NFL team if the money was right. The Browns are merely a vessel to express the film’s main message, to display the chaos, conniving, a meticulous planning that is poured into each and every second of the draft process.

It sounds like any GM-wannabe’s wet dream, granted the execution is on point. According to Costner, it is.

Costner has been quoted as saying Draft Day “has a chance to be great” and his presence in the film alone indicates they’re very likely to strike sporting gold. Given his roles in competitive classics like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, I’m willing to give those statements plenty of credence.

There isn’t a tremendous amount of information concerning plot, but it is clear that Weaver Jr. attempts to trade up in the draft in order to make an impact pick who can turn his franchise around and boon his job security.

Jon Gruden will be good for at least one vintage Jon Gruden speech (watch the preview and enjoy) and Arian Foster will be popping his head in as well.

By the time Draft Day goes on the clock on April 11th, trends should dictate whether or not the concept goes down as a bust or a Hall of Fame classic — sorry, couldn’t avoid a chance to use a couple bad sports puns. For now, give it the benefit of the doubt, and IN NO WAY associate it with the uncontrollable dumpster fire that is professional football in the city of Cleveland.

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