Raise your hand everyone: who asked for a biopic on Sean Payton?
Fortunately, that’s not what this movie is. Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix creation Happy Madison Productions is the movie HOME TEAM, a comedy about Payton’s one-year Bountygate suspension from the NFL in 2012 that he spent in part as the offensive coordinator of his son’s sixth-year football team. I wonder if the audio from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in which he encourages the pre-playoff defense against the San Francisco 49ers to “affect the head, early, continue, hit and hit the head”, will be included in the film. The Writer’s Room for this movie deserves an immediate bonus if it can make it whimsical.
Kevin James will play Payton, and the trailer contains many comedic features expected from a film directed by Sandler’s company. There’s James telling the actor playing Payton’s son that his teammates are horrible without noticing some of the teammates to his left, a kid ordering pizza during practice and Rob Schneider giving the whole team a food poisoning with an experimental energy bar. Clearly, HOME TEAM won’t be as indebted to the exact timeline and details of the true story as, say, Spike Lee was with Malcolm X.
During Payton’s suspension in 2012, he held a coaching position in his son’s team in a suburban Dallas league, printed a playbook for them at Kinkos, they beat most of their competition so badly that in many games the scoreboard was turned off. There was one team, however, that the Payton kids couldn’t get over, even with a few hints from Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, and they ended the season in second place after a loss in championship. I’m a little curious if the movie will end in a playoff loss like in Coach Carter, or if the staff takes a creative license and gives the film more than one Angels in the Outfield end type.
It’s a little baffling that what the trailer seems to show is a hagiography of someone who was the boss of a team who bypassed the salary cap by compensating players for trying to hurt their opponent. The trailer begins with James at his desk as Payton and his assistant let him know Roger Goodell is on the phone, but she comically fails to pronounce his name and has no idea who this man is – sorry for this man.
As long as the HOME TEAM doesn’t minimize brain damage so hey, go ahead Happy Madison. Let’s see the warm side of Payton who isn’t requiring Juicy Fruit gum, or help to convince the competition committee implemented this ridiculous pass interference challenge rule for a season after being on the losing side of the worst referee error in NFL history.
A comedy by Sean Payton! Maybe we’ll get another one on Nick Saban and his jokes about deez nuts.