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Sport And Cinema

A New Film – “Fearsome Foursome: A Football Life” – on the NFL Network

A new NFL Films-produced documentary about one of the greatest defensive lines of all-time recently made its debut on the league’s cable network.                                   

While the lifetime bond of Los Angeles Rams greats of the 1960s Rosey Grier, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy is compelling what gives it a different dimension is the role of the daughter of their late coach, George Allen.

Jennifer Allen, a former reporter for the NFL Network who narrates and conducts interviews for the film, was the appropriate choice as the Fearsome Foursome had a profound impact on the life of her and her family. The daughter of the head coach had an up-close-and-personal experience growing up among the four men. Her second son is named after Jones, her first son after quarterback Roman Gabriel and her third son’s middle name is Lamar.

Despite only playing together for four years, (from 1963 to ’66 and one year under Allen) Grier suffered an Achilles injury in a 1967 exhibition game and never came back, (replaced at defensive end by Roger Brown), the Fearsome Foursome were pivotal in turning around the franchise’s fortunes becoming perennial contenders while earning success and acclaim, developing a reputation withstanding the test of time.

But beyond the hall of fame head slaps, the political/philanthropical endeavors and the tv roles like Father Murphy, the film’s overriding story, through interviews with surviving members Grier and Jones as well as families and friends of Olsen and Lundy is to present viewers that there is something greater than the sum of four outstanding individual parts, something beyond being one of the most dominant defensive lines in NFL History. It was an unbreakable bond off the field that connected the four men long after their playing careers were over.

In examining the iconic individuals and subjects that have had a profound impact on the history of the National Football League, future installments of A Football Life will include profiles of John Riggins, Eddie DeBartolo and Barry Sanders among others. 


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