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Go Tigers!

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to Massillon, Ohio, where high school football is nothing short of religion. For the 33,000 people who live there, football is life--a veritable "cradle to the grave" experience that begins in the maternity ward where coaches make visits to scout

From the Back Cover

Welcome to Massillon, Ohio, where high school football is nothing short of religion. For the 33,000 people who live there, football is life--a veritable "cradle to the grave" experience that begins in the maternity ward where coaches make visits to scout future linebackers, and ends in a customized football casket emblazoned with the Tigers mascot.

A surprise hit in theaters across the country, Go Tigers! chronicles the 1999 high school football season of the Massillon Tigers. On the heels of a losing year, the Tigers risk losing football in Massillon altogether, as an upcoming vote on a new tax levy is the only thing that will prevent massive budget cuts and the elimination of the football program. With the vote clearly riding on the team's success, it is up to the three co-captains--quarterback Dave Irwin, linebacker Danny Studer, and defensive end Ellery Moore--to ensure that an entire town's hopes and dreams come true. Just three days before the crucial vote is to take place, the Tigers face the biggest game of their lives against archrival McKinley.

In the spirit of such hit films as Remember the Titans and Hoop Dreams, accomplished filmmaker and Massillon native Ken Carlson brings us the real story behind America's hysterical obsession with sports, and for the first time lets us experience that same rush of adrenaline along with a real-life team. With an SRO crowd of screaming fans and a town's future at stake, Go Tigers! is an energetic and absorbing thrill ride not to be missed.


Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Interview with Massillon native and football great Chris Spielman
  • Complete 1951 archival news reel feature - Touchdown Town
  • A 'Where Are They Now?' update with exclusive photos
  • Massillon Hall of Champions Gallery
  • Previously unreleased trailers
  • Original music from the film by singer/songwriter Katrina Carlson
  • Filmmaker biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Dave Irwin, Ellery Moore, Joe Paterno, Danny Studer, Adam Michael Gayheart
  • Directors: Kenneth A. Carlson
  • Writers: Kenneth A. Carlson
  • Producers: Kenneth A. Carlson, Sidney Sherman, Todd Robinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006ADER
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,248 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Go Tigers!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Daman on September 29, 2001
Verified Purchase
This is a very, very well put together documentary about the seriousness of football in small town Ohio. The movie follows the senior season for three star football players from Massollin (Washington) High School, located one hour from Cleveland. The lives of the players off the field are also presented quite realistically, with discussions of teenage drinking, high school partying, college aspirations, failed ACT's, etc.
Having grown up in small town Kentucky, where basketball is king, I could relate to many of the issues illuminated during the movie. The intensity of the coaches, fans, principal and school superintendent was expected. The language, locker room shouting, recruiting allegations, and other pregame activity is not surprising. What was a bit disturbing is that the football players are placed under a great deal of pressure to "save the community" due to the financial woes of the school system. (Considering the money that is poured into this program, it is a small wonder that the school system is in financial jeopardy!)
If you enjoyed "Hoop Dreams," you will love this movie. It is rated "R," for good reason, but both men and women will find it engaging.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alistair McHarg on September 29, 2006
Format: DVD
Go Tigers! is a wonderful, and wonderfully deceptive, movie. When viewed casually it flies by like an NFL highlights reel, slick, glossy, beautifully photographed, and expertly edited. These are universally familiar images, the great touchdown pass, the banks of lights, players banging into each other in testosterone-fueled euphoric celebration. Then you stop to remember. This is a documentary about high school football, and even more importantly, precisely what high school football means in Massillon, Ohio. (Turns out it determines the future of the school system!)

Go Tigers! is the brainchild of Ken Carlson, he wrote, directed, and produced - and, as luck would have it, he's from Massillon. This makes his achievement even more remarkable because the one attribute that dominates this movie is how even-handed and fair it is.

Movies in this genre fall into two groups, either they are love-struck anthems honoring the virtues of sportsmanship and its inspiring way of embodying all that is noble about life - or - they are supercilious indictments of the anti-intellectual hod-carriers and Neanderthals that brutalize each other instead of pursuing worthwhile activities - translating Proust into Sanskrit for example.

Massillon, Ohio is football crazy by any standard, but Carlson never takes cheap shots, he doesn't laugh at his subject, nor does he idealize it, he simply presents it. This is the very hard work of a documentary, and Carlson succeeds.

Where Friday Night Lights gave us a grotesque portrait of the psychological, and physical, damage done by football mania in Texas, Go Tigers! calmly introduces us to a funeral director presenting the "Obie Special," a deluxe coffin souped up to warm the cold dead heart of even the most rabid Tigers fan. The film counts on you to do the math for yourself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Goodall on September 2, 2002
Format: DVD
"Go Tigers." A film that follows the lives of three high school football players through an eventful season. Although there is an exciting football story line, the main focus is on the people in the town of Massillon.
Director Kenneth Carlson does an excellent job of showing us the true meaning of "small town" America. Massillon is a town that is consumed by football, and it is made obvious to the film-goer with the shots of the town covered in "Tiger" signs and banners. There are many memorable scenes including the Tiger Lady and the soon-to-be-classic Bulldog Scene.
The cinematography in "Go Tigers" was great. The soundtrack of "Go Tigers" included a subtle underscore and the gripping music of Moby. During the final credits, the song "Friday Nights" by Katrina Carlson was a fitting end to a great documentation of Friday night football.
"Go Tigers" is a perfect blend of hard hitting sports documentation and gripping human interest. Whether you've heard of the Massillon Tigers or not, you'll enjoy this film. The players will grow on you and you will root for them to succeed. I highly recommend this film and the people in the town of Massillon should be proud of this film.
After seeing Go Tigers, I am looking forward to Director Kenneth Carlson's next film. DG
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Wills on November 14, 2004
Format: DVD
The documentary film maker, Kenneth Carlson, succeeds in building his comedy of manners toward a dramatic conclusion. This documentary is a comedy in the sense "Go Tigers" has a happy ending, the main characters' situations in life improve throughout the film and the film is generally sunny though there are dark undercurrents to life in the city of Massillon, Ohio.

"Go Tigers" is not about the game of football, it is about the effect of the game on a small town. Massillon is barely a city and its ~30,000 people maintain a high school football stadium for 15,000+ people with a professional quality field and sports plant. The Massillon High School is a football factory and the film follows three players and selected family members through an undefeated season.

There are some fantastic sequences of football that overshadow current U of A play because these boys are so consistently good. The game sequences gloss over the details of play, showing over the top fans, the band, parents of the central characters, cutting in and out to fantastic plays. That is why I say it is not "about" football because, while the score board and play boards are shown there is minimal coverage of rules, technique, field position or strategy.

Locker room half time pep talks are given center stage. The locker room scenes feature pointless rants and strings of obscenity by the players interspersed by level headed coaching and inspirational sermons by all Massillon's denominations. The team always comes out energized by this motivation.

Massillon is NOT a wealthy city, so a theme is "where does the money come from"? The choices made by citizens are a plot thread that runs through the lives of three players and their families.
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