By John Strawn
In 2017 when I was approached by the College Gridiron Showcase to produce this film my emotions took me to place long forgotten. As a young man, growing up with all brothers, I was surrounded by competitive sports my whole life. You could even say that competition is a part of my make-up and what makes me click; the idea of two groups of athletes battling each others’ wits and strengths in the ultimate David versus Goliath fight till the end. While I was never an all-star at any sport I played, those fundamental values of team work, effort, passion and drive guide me through my life today. So begs the question;
In 2018, what has become of the hearts of men?
Sports in film has showcased many narratives in the last 20 years. However, one that has taken dominance in both TV and Film alike is the glorification of bad choices. From Entourage to Ballers, the audience watches young men make choices that denegrate their integrity and set themsleve up for failure. Why are we as a society obessed with dramatic defeat? As a young man I remember watching Braveheart and hearing William Wallace proclaim;
We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and set our country free. Let your masters come and attack us: we are ready to meet them beard to beard.
What a powerful statement! A combination of courage and humbleness wrapped up in the interjection of battle and passion. In 2018, I feel the essence of what it means to be a man has been diluted into material expressions of strength when realistically a mans failures are what makes him strong. From this revelation I knew that this was not just a film, a documentary or another underdog story… this was a platform to change the narrative. This was an opportunity to rebuild the crumbling foundation of what it means to be an MAN, what it means to be a CHAMPION, a WINNER.
This is the story of 175 college seniors who have trained and fought for their entire life to arrive at what will either be the APEX of a childhood dream or the INCEPTION of a man’s journey. Lead by the external forces ,watch as these young men face the longest year of their life. Beginning in January at the College Gridiron Showcase and ending at the NFL Draft in Dallas, Texas. Many will fight, some will succeed and continue playing the young mans game. Through it all CHAMPIONS will be built and the stories that made them will live on for others to tell.