Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, who made news recently with the announcement that DFW's top-rated sports station would be simulcasting on the powerful 96.7 FM signal, hosted a screening of Varsity Blues on Tuesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.
The Ticket's mid-day program BaD Radio -- Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell with Donovan Lewis -- has done monthly reviews of sports movies with some such as the Gene Hackman classic Hoosiers being better received than others, i.e. Whoopi Goldberg as the head coach of the New York Knicks in Eddie. After last month's review of The Program starring James Caan, Halle Berry and Omar Epps, they continued the football theme with the 1999 cult classic about high school football in West Canaan, TX.
For this month's review, they took things step further with Donovan Lewis hosting a screening of the film the night before they reviewed it on air. As with all of the special showings at the Alamo Drafthouse, there was an added bonus to the feature film; in this case actor Ron Lester, who portrayed Billy Bob, was in attendance for the screening of the movie.
The movie, not to be confused with 2004's Friday Night Lights, centered around high school football in west Texas, specifically the West Canaan Coyotes football players Mox, Lance, Wendell, Tweeter and Billy Bob, their tyrannical head coach Bud Kilmer's quest for his 23rd District title and their small-town's obsession with the team. In between, there are plenty of high school parties, a trip to the strip club and the introduction of the whipped-cream bikini.
Following the film's closing credits, Lester joined Lewis for a Q&A session with the fans in attendance with topics including his massive wight loss that included 17 plastic surgeries and saw him drop from 505 to 190 pounds and several behind the scenes stories from his time with James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight and others on the set of Varsity Blues. Lester also stayed after the show to sign autographs and take pictures with the Billy Bob No. 69 jersey he wore in the movie.
The major players in the cast -- almost 15 years after the movie held the No. 1 spot in the box office in January 1999 -- are all still active. Anyone who watches an ample amount of television has seen Van Der Beek in the Cars.com ad where, ironically, he quotes his Varsity Blues character Mox with the "I don't want your life," speech. Paul Walker struck gold with his role in The Fast and the Furious franchise, Scott Caan appeared in the Ocean's Eleven trilogy and the popular TV shows Entourage and Hawaii Five-O and Jon Voight is currently starring on Showtimes' Ray Donovan. As for Ron Lester, he is currently living in Dallas and has written screenplay for a film entitled Racing Legacy, an action family drama about a 15-year old's quest to fulfill his father's dream of being a NASCAR driver.
The Ticket plans to host sports movie screenings every month at the Alamo Drafthouse. For upcoming movies and showtimes as they are announced, visit here.
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