Mandalay Pictures has released the first movie trailer for “When The Game Stands Tall,” which is about the vaunted De La Salle of Concord football program and based on the 2003 book by the same name written for former Contra Costa Times sportswriter Neil Hayes.
You can see the trailer at this link:
From the trailer, it’s obvious that the most dramatic elements of De La Salle’s football history that took place after the book was written are more critical to the movie’s storyline.
In following the program as it was being developed by head coach Bob Ladouceur in the early 1980s and then for every year thereafter, we always felt the most dramatic season was the one in 2004. This was when the 151-game win streak ended in the first game, this was just after 2003 All-State player Terrence Kelly was murdered in Richmond and it was in the time period when Ladouceur suffered a heart attack. The team had even fallen off to a 3-3-2 record after eight weeks, but then got it together and won another CIF North Coast Section title and in the championship game beat an Amador Valley of Pleasanton team that was 12-0.
Early promotional material for the film also claims that the 151-game win streak “shattered all records for any American sport.” This does require further explanation because there are high school win streaks around the country (even in California history) that are longer. The clarification is that it could be claimed that “American” doesn’t refer to basketball or tennis (because those are international sports). Considering the significance of football and that De La Salle’s national high school record was more than twice as long as the previous record of 72 and is still 42 games longer than any other in U.S. history, calling it “one of the greatest win streaks in sports history” is not a stretch.
One of the team’s best players ever, NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew (who is now going to play for the Oakland Raiders), is reported to have a cameo in the film.
Ladouceur is portrayed in the film by Jim Caviezel, who is best known these days for his starring role in the “Person of Interest” TV show on CBS.