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From the Back Cover
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.
- 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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
"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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being from Alabama, I always assumed that the South was unsurpassed its myopic devotion to football. Go Tigers!, therefore, came as something of a shock. Read morePublished on November 27, 2009 by stoic
I grew up in massillon ohio. it was where i was born and raised. while i may not like football, and i may not have succumbed to the hysteria surrounding the massillon/mckinley... Read morePublished on January 23, 2006 by Amazon Customer
I'm no fan of football, but I like Go Tigers! It's a look at football in small town America. It's both nice and scary to see how the town reacts to the local high school... Read morePublished on October 25, 2005 by chicoer2003
Not to bemoan the people of small town america but i'm glad I had the good fortune to grow up in a big city. Read morePublished on April 14, 2005 by BLEEKER
This is a film about a small town doped up on sports and religion, where kids - and I mean KIDS - play out parts for adults to further adult agendas of competition, superiority,... Read morePublished on January 1, 2005 by crusher
This is one of the most engaging documentaries I have ever seen (and I have watched hundreds). One reason I enjoyed it so much is the absence of narration. Read morePublished on November 22, 2004 by FilmFan
The game footage here is very good, except it is constantly interrupted, and has no continuity. Some of the interviews seem genuine, while others are obviously staged. Read morePublished on November 3, 2004 by Amazon Customer
As probably the only English person to see this but also someone
who goes to Columbus to watch OSU every few years this has made me make plans for... Read more