Christmas is a time of year for warmth and nostalgia, so with that in mind, this December, Sony Pictures is bringing us Concussion. The behind-the-scenes football drama harks back to a simpler time, when fans of America’s favorite sport didn’t have to think about domestic violence, child abuse, coaches paying bounties for injuring other players, or deflated balls. Yes, it was a more innocent era, when fans could root, root, root, for the home team while only worrying about their favorite players suffering brain-damage-inducing head injuries. And performance-enhancing drugs. And rape. And dog fighting. Come to think of it, there was plenty of domestic violence in the league back then, too.
To capture that only-marginally-more-innocent time, Concussion stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the real-life neuropathologist who found evidence of traumatic brain injury during an autopsy of Hall Of Fame center Mike Webster, and attempted to alert the league and the public to the dangers inherent in the game. Concussion has the potential to be football’s answer to Moneyball; a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of a sport, except with head trauma instead of math. Or, if you prefer, it could be the Football In The Head to Barney Gumble’s Football In The Groin.