Inviting your colleagues into a conference room to watch a movie of your choosing is eerily similar to having guests over to your house. There is a pressure not only for you to enjoy yourself, but for the guests to enjoy themselves as well. And man, after the first 15 minutes of the 1976 Disney classic Gus, it felt like I was pitching them to join a cult and everyone was thumbing their car keys looking for the nearest exit.
What ensued was nothing short of a miraculous comeback. I would encourage you to watch Gus in any setting—with your kids, your stoned roommates or your parents. There is something for everyone. Animal silliness, the dad from Happy Days and, yes, larger-than-expected acting roles for Dick Butkus and Johnny Unitas (who was fantastic). The story of a young boy from Yugoslavia who earns his parents' pride and the love of a special girl through the field goal kicking abilities of a friendly mule is—if possible—weirder than it sounds. At one point, it felt like the root of uncomfortable cringe humor, a la Meet the Parents and The Office, finally had its genesis for me.
So join Bette Marston, Gary Gramling and myself for possibly the best football movie. Move over, Any Given Sunday. Gus is kicking through that door. (And if you’re interested in earlier episodes of this podcast, you cancheckthemallouthere.)
Listen to our Bad (or Maybe Good!) Football Movies series, plus the rest of The MMQB’s NFL podcasts, on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts.
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