Football coaches will go to extreme lengths in the name of motivation. (Remember Jackie Sherrill and the castrated bull?) Luckily, the inspirational ploy du jour requires only a bus trip to the local multiplex. High school, college and even NFL teams have been getting a quick morale boost by going to see Remember the Titans, the schmaltzy but uplifting story about (what else?) a football squad overcoming adversity. After its players saw the film, winless Colorado upset Texas A&M 26-19. "It showed what a football team is all about," says Buffaloes quarterback Zac Colvin. Similarly, Alabama, California, Oklahoma, Tulsa and UNLV all went on to victories after taking in the Denzel Washington flick. Says Runnin' Rebels coach John Robinson, "I may see if I can buy a print of it to show to our team before every game."
On the pro circuit, Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt rented out a theater on Oct. 7 for his team to view Titans. The Dolphins responded with a 22-13 victory over Buffalo the next day. Later, Wannstedt promised his players a day off if they all joined together and sang, "We are the Titans, the mighty, mighty Titans." They happily complied. "The film was about coming together, gelling together and fighting for a common goal—to win," says Dolphins linebacker Robert Jones. "Watching that movie together, we could feel a cohesiveness before the game." Naturally, the filmmakers have been pleased by the response. "This is a love letter to jocks," says director Boaz Yakin. "It's gratifying to see people reacting this way to it."