My gluttony for sports documentaries is well-known but this time the pay-off wasn’t there.
Brian Bosworth was arguably the best linebacker to ever play college football. Why exactly that didn’t translate into a half-way decent pro career was an unsolved mystery for decades. And after this film…it’s still an unsolved mystery.
The film starts out with Brian Bosworth looking off camera and making a comment to the director – “I’m going to come off in this film looking like a complete idiot.” Not a complete one.
But he also doesn’t come off as an older, wiser, father figure either. As Bosworth takes his teenage son to a storage locker in Austin, Texas where his past life is stacked among boxes full of memorabilia, there are outcuts and flashbacks to Brian’s playing days at Oklahoma University. We are gifted to highlight reels and interviews with Barry Switzer as well as former teammates. It makes for a great walk down memory lane for those of us alive during this era and offers a small window into what really happened.
Spoiler Alert: Not much. Bosworth reveals to us that most – if not all – of the claims he made once he left Oklahoma were fabricated and born out of a desire to get back at the NCAA and Oklahoma for the unceremonious way he departed the college football scene.
There is about as much time spent on Bosworth in the pros as he was in the pros – not a lot. 24 games when it was all said and done. Injuries to his shoulder would end any kind of football career but the film adds nothing else to the story.
It doesn’t take a lot of research online to know that Brian did some action movies, dealt with some depression, and now is in the middle of an incredible life change. Apparently, he has found God and a new purpose in life – mentoring young men. He is owning his mistakes from the past and trying to make a difference for the future. Very little of this is explored in the film and it suffers because of it.
We get some great highlight reel moments, some insight into the college years then we get shots of Brian walking around a recent Oklahoma home game with people shaking his hands, still wearing Boz t-shirts, and seeing him as “The Boz.”
It’s not a bad film but it just doesn’t stack up well against the other 30 for 30 fares.