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03 Apr

A Tale of Cat-and-Mouse as Seen Through the Lens of a One-time Convict-turned-football-player, Earl Megget

Posted by hy nguyen

With two seemingly different being, each with their own unique disposition, not getting along as dictated by nature, it is not hard for them to be attributed to creatures of similar circumstances like a cat and mouse: the latter cannot simply have his freedom when a cat is around or a cat simply cannot be at rest when a mouse is loose. Metaphorically, this is also true towards people in the penitentiary whereby the cat takes on the form of the guard and the mouse being that of the convicted prisoner, at least in concept.

In the 2005 film, The Longest Yard, this logic appears to be all true, especially for one whose theme involves pitting cat and mouse in a supposedly “friendly” sport event involving American football. Yes, the overall theme of the movie is about pitting prisoners and their guards in a friendly sport of football, although for the benefit mostly of the penitentiary’s jail warden Rudolph Hazen whose increased good reputation could potentially advance his future political ambition as a State Governor.

With a former professional of the sport as a prisoner—that is the main protagonist, Crewe—in a penitentiary under his supervision, Hazen was hell-bent in having Crewe join the guard’s team which will exponentially increase his team’s winning to a point of making use of duress to win him over—but ultimately did not. Instead, Crewe was instead coerced to form a team that will act as the opposition to the guards’ team—the Mean Machines.

Lucky for Crewe and his initial lackluster team formation, there is also a former college football star in one of the inmate that intuitively joined his team.

While the story of the film normally revolves around the life of a protagonist in a theme that is kept as interesting as possible, this blog is not about him—Crewe—it is about someone else in the overall picture of the story that is still of significance albeit secondary only in nature. This is about the convicted-prisoner-turned-football-player for once in his life, Earl Megget (played by the rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and occasional actor, Nelly).


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How Earl Megget comes into the picture is not a matter of coincidence (obviously) but of a circumstance that is essential to the later storyline. Earl Megget, despite no mentioned background about the sport of American football, is a fast runner, a quality that makes for an ideal running back to any football team. He, therefore, was one of the team’s running back.

By the time the real friendly competition arrived, the convicts, fueled by grudges against their guards who happen to be of the opposing team, played rough at the start. This issue, however, was easily addressed by Crewe by stating that winning the competition than venting their ill-will against their guards through physicality would inflict more harm and something the prisoners are willing to do. But this does not make the guards’ team the good guys as they, too, have a trick under their sleeve that when used could potentially turn the tides of the competition in their favor—although the method worked initially, it ultimately failed thereby causing the Mean Machines to win the game.


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