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-AFW Football Movies and Television Shows Review

Last Chance U: Episode 1

-Steven Jennings

Last Chance U is a Netflix Original series following a Junior College football team vying for another national championship. I would strongly recommend it for any football fan.

Buddy Stephens is the head coach of East Mississippi Community College Lions and has seen much success by recruiting what is essentially FBS rejects, many of which have drug, behavioral or academic issues. The players personal and academic issues have landed them in Scooba, Mississippi, a town with a population of 716 but with a football stadium that can seat 5,000. Most of the players are there for one reason, and one reason only- one season with East Mississippi and back to a Power 5 School. They know that EMCC has 9 players in the NFL, and most Division 1 schools only have 7. This could be their only opportunity to potentially be one of those players.

Brittney Wagne , the players Athletic Academic Advisor (aka “Babysitter”) is the real star of the show. She spends some of her day, literally, chasing the players through the hallways of the school to class, occasional texting the player to inform them of which class they are supposed to be in at that moment, and then showing up to the class right before it begins, making sure the player has a pencil and notebook. For all intents and purposes, she appears to love helping the athletes and genuinely seems to care about them. On a few occasions we see Defensive Lineman Ronald Ollie and others hanging out with her in her office talking about the upcoming day, the game that was coming up, and some rapper named Chief Keef and Rich Homie Quan. You quickly see that although she is a friendly person and loves the players, she will also call them out. When Ollie is sent to the school bookstore to buy school supplies and comes back with headphones and no supplies, she challenges him, even getting Ollie to admit he should have gotten a notebook. The way she manages to get the players to do what is needed or to realize their mistakes while killing them with kindness is something that we could all learn.

The episode ends with #1 East Mississippi playing Southwest Mississippi and we see Buddy Stephens in action. They start off the episode with the Lords Prayer and it appears the defense struggles. At halftime, we couldn’t see the score but Coach Stephens says they are winning yet is clearly not happy that they are not up by 40 points. After more f bombs than I could count, and numerous other words that were used that I will not repeat, we return for the second half. Isaiah Wright essentially put himself into the game and returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Ollie recovers 2 fumbles, with one for a touchdown. In the end, they blew Southwest Mississippi’s ass out 69-20. East Mississippi won their 25th game in a row, and if they win 27 in a row, it’ll be the most wins in a row in school history.

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