Thanks in large part to a four-touchdown performance by quarterback Josh McCown, the Bears improved to 7-6 with a win against the Dallas Cowboys. Hub Arkush and Tom Musick discuss:
Musick: He was a so-so player whose career had fizzled. He was coaching at a North Carolina high school when the Bears called, offering him a second chance. Now, he's the talk of Chicago sports. At what point do we start making Josh McCown's story into a movie? And which actor should play him?
Arkush: First thing you have to do is get Ron Howard a hairpiece and personal trainer, 'cause who else could play McCown but Opie? Then we find a psychic who can channel Walt Disney himself from the grave, 'cause no one else could do the screenplay justice. The hardest part will be casting Marc Trestman, but I'm thinking about Gene Wilder to recraft his portrayal of Willie Wonka as a new age life coach and pigskin savant.
Musick: Golly gee, Hub, I sure could see Opie doing a mighty fine job as the Bears' unlikely star quarterback. I also would offer Dwayne Johnson (also known as "The Rock") to play Matt Forte, but he has to agree to shave his head and average 5 yards per carry. Also, whenever the wild party wraps up for Kirk Douglas' 97th birthday, we should give him a call and ask whether he wants to play Patrick Mannelly.
Arkush: This is great, so far, but I'm really struggling to cast Jay Cutler. Maybe the "Mayhem Guy" from the All State commercials? The best question, though, is who do we get to write Opie's acceptance speech when, in a rare moment of self-sacrifice right out of Remember the Titans, Mayhem Guy goes to him on the sideline and says "I'm giving you my starting job for the good of the team - and because the truth is my groin has turned green now and is still killing me." Perhaps Steve Martin could script it and "score" it with banjos in the background.
Musick: Mayhem, I like that. I can hear the voice now: "I'm an NFL quarterback. My everything hurts and my next contract will cost you tens of millions. Oh, and I just threw into double coverage in the red zone." The green groin is a nice touch and could generate some Oscar buzz. But what we need to figure out now is how this movie ends. Does Opie aw-shucks his way to the playoffs? Does Mayhem return to reclaim his job, for better or worse? And ultimately, does this turn out to be a buddy flick or a hero versus a villain?
Arkush: There is a third option, you know. Cutler decides testing the green groin with his last big contract on the table is too big a risk and after his dramatic passing of the torch to Opie, he borrows Will Ferrell's cheerleader outfit and works the sideline. Opie throws six more touchdowns in Cleveland and, in a wild locker room celebration, stubs his toe and is out for the year. Out of the showers Tom Selleck emerges in the role of Jordan Palmer, escorted by quarterback whisperer Gene Wilder Trestman, and the Bears march to the Super Bowl begins in earnest.
Musick: Count me in. I’m hearing Steve Martin’s banjos in the background as the screen fades to black.