Undefeated – best sports film of the year

The nation, indeed the world, is enthralled by Jeremy Lin, the undrafted humble Harvard underdog who has stunned the NBA and the New York Knicks with his performances on the basketball court these last couple of weeks.

But hidden in the deep South, somewhere around the decrepit environs of North Memphis, Tenn., a high school football team struggles to succeed just as it did in 2010 when The Tigers, the school’s football team, for the first time in the school’s 110 year history, made it to the playoffs.

“Undefeated” is an Oscar-nominated feature-length documentary about that team that enthralls from the first two minutes. I admit, I was not enthusiastic about reviewing another sports film, let alone football.

Now I can say that I understand why people see football as a religion — in a good way. Why? Because over the six years that the chubby white volunteer coach Bill Courtney guided this team, they prayed, fought, asked forgiveness, and lived genuine “agape” as a community.

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