Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

In the new movie "Friday Night Lights," based on a best-selling book from several years ago, Billy Bob Thornton plays Gary Gaines, head football coach for Odessa Permian. As many of you know, Gary is currently the head football coach for ACU and is a member of Highland. I have no idea how he's being portrayed in this film. But this I do know: the real Gary Gaines is a wonderful Christian man, husband, father, and grandfather. He's the kind of coach that I want influencing athletes at ACU. Several years ago, I thought he would be Matt's coach at Abilene High, but he moved to San Angelo after Matt's freshman year. (And Matt ended up with another incredible man for a head coach, Steve Warren.) It must be strange knowing that you are being "played" in a major motion picture. But much more important to me is the real guy. The one I know. - - - - I've mentioned before that one of my elders, Joey Cope (no relation), writes a column called "Distinct Impressions." Don't miss this week's! - - - - From Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." What do you think? Does that ring true?

14 Comments:

  • I love it: the vast and endless sea. I think that IS what the yearning in my heart is for. I'm tired of platitudes and pronouncements. There is a longing for something that goes way beyond "doing church" and "being right."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/05/2004 05:42:00 AM  

  • Well, I've heard some pretty rough stuff about that movie, that Coach Gaines isn't painted in the greatest light. There was a write-up in the Optimist about the guy who wrote the book, and apparently, he was told by his editor to make it more exciting or sensational. I've heard that this movie is not a very good representation of the Coach.

    As far as the quote goes, I've been around Dr. Gailyn Van Rheenen too long for that to sound new. He often talks about the power of "vision casting" and the power of Christian imagination. I think it is the drive for a certain "desired outcome" that causes people to work for what they want. I'm trying to take that approach in raising funds for our ministry in Belgium: casting a vision that gets people excited about being a part of it, rather than focusing on the nuts and bolts.

    Thanks again, for a great start to the day!

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 10/05/2004 06:27:00 AM  

  • I was talking to some ACU coaches the other day and they said Gaines has not read the book and does not intend to see the movie. They also said that Sharon was laughing about the previews where Thornton's character (important to distinguish Thornton's character from Gaines, I think) turns and blows his wife a kiss. I hope the movie is a pleasant surprise. You're right, though. Gaines is a good, encouraging member of our body at Highland no matter what the movie says.

    By Blogger Val, at 10/05/2004 07:44:00 AM  

  • I'm not sure you can teach people to yearn. In fact, I think there is yearning in our hearts from birth -- a longing for something greater, something beyond. As teachers and leaders, we simply tap into that yearning which is already present and direct it away from cheap substitutes and towards that which is truly greater, truly beyond.

    By Blogger john alan turner, at 10/05/2004 09:21:00 AM  

  • I don't know about the movie (which I plan to see), but I know that Gaines comes off admirably in the book. The town of Odessa doesn't fare as well, but the portrayal strikes me as an honest one. If anything, Gaines is disliked by the more die-hard fans for refusing to make football the most important thing in his life or in the lives of the students who play for him. He was one of the few people I liked in the book filled with overly obsessive fans. I'm glad to know that he is such a decent guy.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 10/05/2004 01:41:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger SG, at 10/05/2004 07:32:00 PM  

  • Here's the real question: whom would you want portraying you on the silver screen?

    Matthew Broderick plays Val, period. Next question.

    I'd give a bespectacled Kevin Spacey the nod for "Guacamole 9/11: The Mike Cope Story."

    And for me, it would either be Chris Rock or Fabio, though we'd need a body double for the blogging scenes because I'm not sure Fabio can turn on a computer.

    By Blogger Grant, at 10/06/2004 07:30:00 AM  

  • i'd love to say john cusack, but i'd hate to ask the guy to bulk up and grow a beard just to play me. someone equally likeable, everyman, funny and smart.

    kevin smith. kevin smith in "the world as best i remember it"

    with cameo appearances by dave barry and bruce springteen

    By Blogger chrismith, at 10/06/2004 07:53:00 AM  

  • I almost forgot - Dick Van Patten from "Eight is Enough" fame as Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Dead ringer.

    By Blogger Grant, at 10/06/2004 08:04:00 AM  

  • first of all, Boone, Fabio?? I cannot believe you wouldn't want Will Farrell. Honestly! What has come over you?? Farrell is the clear choice.

    I agree with Kevin Spacey for Cope. Of course! I can even see Spacey getting Mike's motions down.

    It was so great to be with you, Mike. Thanks for doing a fabuilous job, as usual. Things here are slowly getting back to normal. Whatever normal is.

    Can't wait to see the movie this Friday! Think someone will ever make a movie about the Wylie Bulldogs?

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 10/06/2004 08:23:00 AM  

  • Well we all know via Grant that Tony Compolo would be played by the guy from Fletch...unless he actually is the guy from Fletch.
    Any casting ideas for Brandon, Joel, Rubel or others? Now this is fun!

    By Blogger SG, at 10/06/2004 08:23:00 AM  

  • PS I bet Ben Stiller would do a great Grant Boone, but he may be a better Chris Seidman.

    By Blogger SG, at 10/06/2004 08:30:00 AM  

  • I've been told that I look like Jim Breuer who used to play Goat Boy on Saturday Night Live.

    I'm not sure that's a compliment.

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 10/06/2004 09:45:00 AM  

  • Sorry, Greg. Jim "Goat Boy" Breuer will be too busy having his hair tipped and teased for a dramatic turn as a highly hormonal young Brandon Scott "BS" Thomas to play you, too. (Click below to see the resemblance.)

    http://www.jimbreuer.com/images/Img_8771.jpg

    By Blogger Grant, at 10/06/2004 12:13:00 PM  

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