Scene of the Week: Masters of the Gridiron
There was a time when sword and sorcery films ruled the video store. Movies like Conan the Barbarian, Deathstalker, and Krull were extremely popular in the 1980s and gave enjoyment to many people. In the United States, football (of course I am talking about American football) is king. Many people enjoy TV shows and movies on television, but 19 of the top 20 most watched television broadcasts are football. It should come as no surprise to you that 1986 provided us with the marriage between the sword and sorcery genre and a NFL team in Masters of the Gridiron starring many members of the 1986 Cleveland Browns… and Tiny Tim?!?!
The Cleveland Browns have a long history in the NFL and 1986 began a stretch with the Browns making it to the AFC Championship game in three out of four years. Masters of the Gridiron features many of the stars of the team including Ozzie Newsome, Pro Football Hall of Fame member and one of the greatest tight ends of all time, as The Magical Wizard. Bob Golic as Golican shines and proves why he had a brief but successful acting career after football. When you see all the television commercials with Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews III you can blame his father Clay Matthews Jr. as Clayrock. The Browns in the 80s gained fame as the Dawgs originally coined by the Top Dawg, Hanford Dixon as Dixonus who gets his famous bark in Masters of the Gridiron.
There are many additional players and unique character names, but Masters of the Gridiron wouldn’t have existed without Mike Baab as Baabarian. He is front and center (not surprisingly his position for the Browns) in Masters of the Gridiron and the hero of the film in the Browns journey to get the ring from the Lord of the League. His love for Conan the Barbarian is evident and luckily for the viewer, Masters of the Gridiron is filled action and comedy goodness. Things you don’t want to miss including Dan Fike looking fierce combing his chest hair, Earnest Byner as Bynthor bringing a shotgun to a sword and sorcery fight, a potshot at the USFL, samurais, a Michael Stanley Band video, Baabarian wrestling a bear… and oh yeah, Tiny Tim?!?!