PROVO -- With two-a-days in the books and the Cougars' season-opener against Georgia Tech just one week away, the team hung up its cleats and helmets to take in a movie. Head coach Gary Crowton treated the team to a bus ride up I-15 to Thanksgiving Point where they watched the hit movie "Seabiscuit", and had a little fun.
Whenever you go to a movie, you have to have popcorn. So, Crowton, along with a couple staff members started to make popcorn and pour sodas for the team.
What started out as nice gesture on Crowton's part, turned in to another one of his not-so-good in the kitchen television commercials, eventhough Crowton, a "natural" in front of the camera, wasn't acting this time.
Crowton had a few minor problems with the soda machine and popcorn popper.
"It (popcorn) was all over the place, kernels everywhere, burnt, spilled soda. It would have been a great commercial," Crowton said. "I didn't put the nozzles on the soda machine because I didn't know you had to, and soda sprayed everywhere. We managed to get everything under control before the movie started."
Once the concessions were under control, Crowton said he wanted to reward the team for working hard, and to give them a break from football.
"These guys have been working hard for the past several weeks," Crowton said. "I thought it would be good to forget about football for a couple hours, spend some time together as a team and watch a great movie."
Crowton said he wanted the team to see "Seabiscuit" because of a few possible similarities between the characters in the movie and the team.
"Last year wasn't the year we had hoped it would be," Crowton said. "I want these guys to put it behind them, and look to the future. It seems pretty bright.
"There were a lot of people who didn't give Seabiscuit a chance. But the owner, trainer, jockey and others, worked as a team to turn Seabiscuit in to a champion. It takes that kind of work, a lot of dedication to be a champion."
Team members noted other similarities between themselves and Seabiscuit.
"He (Seabiscuit) had a little bit of spite in his heart," sophomore guard Brian Sanders said. "I think that's what we have too. We have a little spite, a little bone to pick with all our critics."
Sanders also mentioned this year's team has a lot of heart, just like the horse. Junior wide receiver Jason Kukahiko agreed.
"The movie talked about having a lot of heart, and this team has a lot of heart," Kukahiko said. "We have the talent, now all we need to do is put our heart in it and we can come out on top."
Senior middle linebacker Mike Tanner said he thought the food that was served helped the team bond.
"It's always a good time when you can go and eat a little popcorn and watch a movie. It was just fun being around the guys," Tanner said.