Monday, March 3, 2014

RichRod: Thespian, Internet Troll

Posted By on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 5:00 PM

There's an early leader in the clubhouse for next year's Oscar for best short film, and it's got the added boost of featuring Keanu Reeves.

The University of Arizona football team has released its latest short, this one addressing the proposed rule in college football that would make it illegal to snap the ball on offense during the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. The rule, most believe, is intended to keep fast-paced offenses like Arizona from being able to move as quickly as they want, though the proponents cite concerns over player safety yet haven't shown any evidence supporting this.

This is pretty much what UA coach Rich Rodriguez says over and over again in this spoof/mashup of Speed, a movie that had a small tie to the Wildcats thanks to Sandra Bullock's taste in sweatshirts.

RichRod steps in for Reeves' character, trying to explain to Bullock why some madman old-school coach (played with scene-eating perfection by UA football recruiting coordinator Matt Dudek) would want to slow the game down. And other than setting a record for the number of times saying "fundamental" in under three minutes, RichRod nails the performance.

Arizona has now parodied Speed, Captain America and X-Men: Last Stand in short films or other promotional materials, while UA players and coaches went crazy with the cheese whiz last summer at Old Tucson Studios and tapped into their love of vaquero culture for some shorts as well.

Here's hoping the next release from #OnToTheNextOne Productions is a preview of Arizona's 2014 season opener—which, as it happens, was moved today from Saturday, Aug. 30 to Friday, Aug. 29—against UNLV and does some sort of The Hangover send-off. Or maybe a riff on Duck Dynasty when the Wildcats play Oregon later in the year.

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