I dread being out in public around Austin this weekend; many people will be in a bad mood because The University of Texas lost their championship football game. You would not have believed how crazy it was getting in this town, or how dead it was around town last night if you weren't in a restaurant or bar with the TV on. Alamo Drafthouse canceled all their movies last night in its three "original" theaters and sold out every screen to show the football game instead, and those theaters must have been pretty sad places after the game ended.

I'm not a big football fan myself, but I do love certain football games on film. The Marx Brothers on the field in Horsefeathers springs to mind, but my favorite is the football game at the end of Robert Altman's irreverent comedy MASH, from 1970. The underdog MASH team has a lot of money staked on winning against Gen. Hammond's powerhouse players, but they devise scheme after scheme, with some dirty tricks and one legal and spectacular final play. The All-American team is surprised by the strength and wiliness of the ragtag squad, the women are relegated to cheerleaders and either don't understand or care what's going on -- hey, this isn't some kind of Vietnam-era analogy, is it? Any way you examine it, it's a delightful sequence to watch.

Check out part of the scene after the jump, but maybe it's time to watch the whole movie again -- or for the first time, if you haven't seen it yet. Oh, for the days when Donald Sutherland and Tom Skerritt were young and cute ...
categories Cinematical