In a poor predominantly black neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee sit’s Manassas High School. The storied Tiger football team is famous for all the wrong reasons. Since the school opened in 1899, they have yet to win a single playoff game.
The underprivileged area seemed to be turning things around having built a shiny new school building, however in the current economic environment many school districts are forced to make drastic cuts in education. Naturally one of the first items on the chopping block is usually the athletic program.
The Tigers future appeared in doubt, when in the grand tradition of the “Volunteer State,” along came Bill Courtney. A successful white businessman with a football background, the school decided to make him their new head football coach.
In one scene, Montrail “Money” Brown is shown brushing his teeth in a dilapidated bathroom where part of the roof has already caved in. The absence of both of his biological parents and crushing poverty failed to diminish his outstanding grade point average and his “uncommon” work ethic both on and off the field.
Directors Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin also tackle the touchy subject of asking when enough is enough. After one of the teams most naturally gifted players returns from a stint in the juvenile justice system, stemming from anger issues, he threatens to become a so-called cancer in the locker-room too often seen at both the collegiate and as well as the professional level. Chavis Daniels continued to shun any and all help regarding his personal demons. Ultimately, Coach Courtney had to make the inevitable decision to say, “that’s that,” and instructs his players to do the same.
The Undefeated also showed how strong faith was to the Manassas football family. It revealed how the message of putting aside differences as well as excuses for something greater than self can have “uncommon” long-lasting effects.