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It's that time of year again, when we find ourselves wondering why football has such a hold on the American (male) conscience. We screened some classic gridiron flicks and discovered a true story about a boy whose love for football dominates his life. In Rudy, Sean Astin plays an ordinary kid whose single goal in life is to play football for Notre Dame. If you have a child who is slow to lace up for sports, Rudy's dogged determination teaches that athleticism is only part of the game. Rudy doesn't even get into Notre Dame out of high school; instead, he attends a nearby college and takes a job on the grounds crew for Notre Dame. It's years before he suits up as a member of the practice team where everyone is won over by his steadfast heart. When he's finally hoisted on the team's shoulder, having dressed for a single play in the final game of the season, your family will be cheering as wildly as the Fighting Irish fans.
It's not easy to be an NFL fan in L.A.. Most fans are either rooting for an out-of-town team, or longing for the days when the Raiders and Rams called Southern California home. Your family can still get its live football fix at either a UCLA or USC game. Both have excellent teams, so why not make a choice of powder blue or crimson and show your kids what it's like to be a hometown fan? We've gone to rowdy UCLA games at the Rose Bowl and watched the Trojans at the Coliseum; our kids aren't loyal to either team, so root for whichever team is ahead, or whichever's fans are yelling the loudest! We also like dropping in on local high school games, which are much easier to attend when it comes to advance planning and parking. The kids stand right at the sidelines, close enough to hear the coach's directives and watch the drill team compete with the cheerleading squad. The price is right and the drama of each play is made tangible by sisters, brothers, parents and friends cheering on the players.
Want to know how to talk with your kids about this film? Here are some conversation starters:
Cheer on the UCLA or USC Football Team
Time Allotment: 4 hours (allow time for traffic and parking)
Age Recommendation: 5 and up
Want to know what we learned from going to games with our kids? Here are our buttery bits of wisdom:
Want to know more about football in Los Angeles. Here are some tidbits:
Want to see some other great football flicks - Click here to see all our picks at the Kids Off the Couch store at Amazon.com.
Click here to see all our picks at the Kids Off the Couch store at Amazon.com.
Click here for you iTunes download:
All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over for Monday Night Football. by Hank Williams Jr.. The title says it all.
NFL Rap (Let's Play Football) by Double Or Nothin. Hip Hop play.
Monday Monday by The Mamas & the Papas. Go long.
Want some suggestions about sports-related web sites? Here are a few: