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Netflix Iron Bowl: Trends in Auburn and Tuscaloosa Movie Rentals, Week 3

Check out Week 1 here, Week 2 here.

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Push Play.

Week 3 of college football has arrived and both Auburn and Alabama are undefeated. The defending national champs are coming off of a conference win over a Mississippi State team many thought would defeat the Tigers at home. Alabama returns home to face off against North Texas for what should be a nice tuneup before hosting Arkansas in a huge Week 4 SEC West match-up.

So how have the viewing habits of Auburn fans been effected by their team’s promising start? Last week, fans seemed to be seeking a wakeup call, which they found in the formof Oscar-nominated documentary Balseros. It seems things have returned to business as usual on The Plains this week. By business, of course, I mean football. The Local Favorites List for Auburn, AL this past week was topped by the football-centric Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights centers on the city of Odessa, Texas and the Permian Panthers, and depicts the passion and pageantry high school football. I can only guess fans in Auburn flocked to this movie because they can relate to the dedicationand loyalty the fans feel to their team. Of course, at Auburn, we pride ourselves on being a family. This has always been true, will always be true. I think Coach Gaines captures the sense of family surrounding Auburn University and the City of Auburn in a speech to his young men. At Auburn we love to see our young men be victorious on the field, but weʼre even more proud of their success in other walks of life.

Coming in at number two on the Local Favorites list is film that can be seen as a further reflection of The Auburn Familyʼs concern for our players—the amazing Almost Famous. In a nutshell, the film is a rock and roll coming of age story. It follows a young man as he learns about life and love while working on an assignment for Rolling Stone, travelling with an up and coming rock band. What does this have to do with the Auburn Family? I think itʼs only fitting that Auburn residents are watching a film about someone learning about themselves on a road trip as Auburn makes itʼs first road trip of the season to Clemson. I picture many of us Auburn fans being like Williamʼs mother as she drops him off at a concert, warning our guys to keep their heads and “donʼt take drugs”. Of course, we all knew this day would come, but that doesnʼt mean we couldnʼt use some reassurance that things will work themselves out. And we have Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical flick to calm our nerves.

The Alabama Crimson Tide went to Happy Valley in Week 2 and again dominated Joe Paternoʼs Nittany Lions. The victory seems to have the Tuscaloosans even more excited for football. Tyler Perryʼs Madeaʼs Big Happy Family has claimed the number one slot from Tyler Perryʼs Laugh to Keep From Crying. Of course, you have to imagine Alabama fans are in a good mood; this might explain why they favored the lighter fare of Madea. But they still know thereʼs business take care of, which is why Tyler Perryʼs work is so appealing; itʼs usually pretty funny, but the humor is tempered with life lessons.

This singular focus on a national championship is further can be detected throughout Tuscaloosa’s Local Favorites. After two convincing victories, the Tide Faithful are probably working hard to continue to find inspiration as their team inches ever closer to its first conference game on September 24. Along those lines, Bama fans have looked to Soul Surfer, which recounts the harrowing story of Bethany Hamilton, a young woman who lost her arm in a shark attack, but who recovered and went on to winsurfing competitions.

Tide Fans are clearly looking for ways to stay motivated while their team cruises through the competition, and in addition to Soul Surfer they’ve found it in the Coen Brothers. O Brother, Where Art Thou? comes in at the number four slot this week. I believe the movie is a local favorite for several reasons. One: it’s a fun movie. Two: it’s loosely based on Homerʼs Odyssey. Expectations are high in Tuscaloosa and fans are preparing for an epic journey of their own. A journey ending not in Ithaca, but New Orleans with a victorious Tide team hoisting a crystal football after what many feel has been too long a year.

Matchup of the Week:

No. 1 Oklahoma vs No.  Florida State:

What is arguably the biggest game of Week 3 features two Top 5 teams, in the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida State Seminoles. The premise is exciting, but last season Oklahoma trounced Florida State and some are predicting a similar result this year. Two of Normanʼs local favorites have me thinking the Sooners fans in Norman are expecting to see their team take the Seminoles behind the proverbial woodshed for a second straight year. The first is Death Race.

This remake of Death Race 2000 is set in the near future where the worldʼs biggest pay-­per-view event is Death Race, a race involving prisoners who compete in vehicular combat for a chance at freedom. Donʼt fool yourself—Sooner fans are licking their chops, hoping theyʼll see their team lay another beat down on the Seminoles, solidifying their position as No. 1 in the land.

The No. 1 movie in Norman this past week has been The Wizard of Oz. A lot of you are probably thinking it has nothing to do with football, but youʼre wrong. It has everything to do with football.

Oklahoma recently set a record by claiming the number one spot in the Associated Press Poll for the 100th time in school history. They’re the first team to do it. In a way the Sooners are The Wizard of Oz of football. Many people say The Wizard of Oz is the best movie of all time, but movie buffs will say itʼs a great film, but by no means the best. Around these part,s weʼve got the Sooners figured out: Youʼre fun to watch, but when you get compared to another solid team (USC, LSU, etc.), you donʼt really measure up.

Speaking of measuring up, the Seminoles are looking to redeem themselves for their humbling at the hands of OU last year. Can they do it? If the Local Favorites for Tallahassee are any indication fans are ready for a tough battle. The No. 2 local favorite is Clash of the Titans (1981). This filmʼs title suggests that fans are gearing up for battle. So does their fondness for The Patriot.

The Patriot being a local favorite should give those in Tallahassee hope that their boys will pull off the upset, that they can draw inspiration from Mel Gibson and fight to defend their home turf against an invading army clad in red (Oklahoma will probably be in roadwhites, but just go with it). Finally, it appears the Seminole Nation is prepared for the “Clash of the Titans” to go to the wire… and theyʼve prepared themselves by watching 12 Rounds. Last year Oklahoma jumped out to a quick lead. If the Seminoles are going to have a chance, theyʼve got to take a page from John Cenaʼs book and avoid a poor start. Throughout the movie the hero is faced with daunting task after daunting task. Things occasionally look hopeless, but with hard work and dedication, heʼs able to save the day.

As a final note, in light of the recently revealed musical talents of Auburnʼs Dee Ford and Barret Trotter, Iʼm going to be disappointed if there isnʼt video of this happening on the bus ride home from Clemson.

Check back next week!

Stephen Savage writes at “Movies ‘n Munchiesand is considered by his mother to be the best blogger on all things movie and food related. Holding two degrees from Auburn University, Stephen is proud to call himself an Auburn Man. He currently spends his time working on his blog. He is available for freelance work and retirement parties.  Follow his blog on Twitter @moviesnmunchies.

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