On this weeks episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we get to revisit one of our all-time favorite movies that no one has ever heard of, but the two of us can quote all day long, Necessary Roughness. . It’s Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, Jason Bateman from Arrested Development, The Ozarks, and The Hogan Family, and Sinbad from…being Sinbad; all throwing on the pads and hitting the gridiron for some early 90s college football hijinks. It’s as dumb as it sounds, but somehow still manages to be one of our favorite sports movies, so check it out with us!
So as I said above, Necessary Roughness stars Scott Bakula, a personal favorite of ours for his work as Dr. Samuel Beckett on the amazing sci-fi/drama classic that was Quantum Leap. For the few of you who don’t know, Quantum Leap centered around Dr. Beckett’s traveling through time via “Leaping” in and out of other people’s bodies. The purpose of his travels (his leaps) was to right some sort of wrong that the person he took over could directly affect. He’d save people’s lives in Vietnam; he’d take over an African America chauffeur and make strides in the Civil Rights Movement; he’s leap into a woman and strike back against chauvinism. It was a great show, and it sometimes made it hard to believe Bakula in any other role. Not because his acting was poor, because I wasn’t (dude has talent), it was that my brain always just kind of assumed that whatever character he was playing was just Dr. Sam Beckett leaping into someone else. Is this crazy? Maybe, but it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. So let’s live in a world where the scene when he usually goes “Oh Boy” whilst looking in the mirror (it happened on literally every episode of the show) was edited out, and Paul Blake was just another leap. Let’s live in a world where as soon as the end credits begin to roll, Beckett leaps out of Blake and moves onto his next adventure. In that world, we ask this question: Who was Sam sent to help?
(From this moment forth, let’s assume that you understand how Quantum Leap works, and that you’ve seen Necessary Roughness. That way I can stop explaining everything so much. Okay? Cool.)
The Texas State Fighting Armadillos are a damned mess, so there’s no shortage of people on and around the squad who could’ve needed Sam’s help. Let’s not forget that sometimes Sam leaped in order to help someone he barely interacted with. He was able to influence events from both up close and from afar; this makes the possibilities here nearly endless. He could’ve been sent back for any number of the following reasons:
- To teach Edison the value of hard work so that he could someday take over his father’s business and run it in a less ruthless manner. By simply forcing him to study for his test and pass, then by dragging him to victory in that one game, perhaps he taught him that life is better when you earn your victories. Edison was rich, now he was benevolent, Sam could’ve done this.
- To get Andre Krimm to come out of retirement to play one last season and get seen by an NFL scout. Krimm showed up with zero playing time in at least a few years and was able to walk into a Division 1 game and contribute. Scouts had to come calling.
- To help Featherstone become friggin’ Odell Beckham after catching that one damned ball. I mean, the guy went from being basically un-covered by anyone in the secondary to being triple covered by a corner, a safety, and linebacker. Blake’s throw changed his life.
- To get Dean Elias to quit his evil ways? He seems to have learned some sort of lesson at the end…or is at least now depressed enough to allow a stuffed armadillo cowboy to put a fake bullet in his head. For a man that seems to have some sort of university pedigree, that’s pretty low. Maybe after he’s murdered in effigy (probably not using that right, but it sounds good), he changes his life and gets a job working with inner-city youth. Maybe he teaches them Capoeira, the Brazilian art of dance-fighting? Maybe this is a secret prequel to Only The Strong. I just hope that Dr. Sam Beckett helped him find his Ba Na Na way. The one person that got that joke is laughing really hard right now…the rest of you can go screw.
- To make Rob Schneider’s character famous? Maybe calling the biggest upset in NCAA Football history gets his name out there and people are impressed with the whole “fumba-ly-a” thing. It’s not that far off from what most people from ESPN did from like 1995 til forever…except for Stuart Scott, that man was a damned national treasure and witticist for the ages. God rest his awesome soul.
- Settle the age old feud between military close-quarters combat and whatever martial art Samurai Hanson practiced? I don’t think that this is a real feud, but hey, that’s Paul Giamatti’s brother playing Sarge!
- To get Manu-Manu to finally have his moment of glory and thus win the affections of Lucy the kicker? She smooched him at the end and it was one of the main closing shots of the flick, so that makes it a strong candidate. Plus, it’s right up Dr. Beckett’s alley to bring two star-crossed lovers from different walks of life together. Although, by that logic, his reason for leaping could’ve been to bring Edison and Krimm together.
- To get Wally Rigendorf his first victory as a head coach and thus start what will surely be a hall of fame career. After all, Ed Genaro said it, he’s been ready for a long time!
I personally like the last one the best because the movie basically gives Robert Loggia’s character the second most plot and character development behind Paul Blake. Plus he goes off to find Blake in the beginning, connecting the two from the start of the story. I imagine in the original timeline, Wally got Paul to play but the team never won a game and Wally not only lost his first and what would be only chance at head coaching, but looked like a fool for bringing in Blake to begin with. His life tanked and he ended up taking that job in England.
Look folks, I don’t know for sure why Dr. Sam Beckett leaped into Paul Blake, Arm of The Armadillos, but seeing as how my life isn’t that bad these days, I’m glad that he changed whatever it is that he changed. So as I do every night after I say my prayers, let me thank Dr. Becket, wherever he may be…whenever he may be, for sacrificing his life for the rest of us. Thank you for beating Texas, thank you for saving Jackie O, and most of all, thank you for Sinbad!