In a race to prove themselves to have the most troubled franchise, Cleveland has edged out Buffalo. This wouldn’t normally be an honor, but it becomes kind of a big deal when the prize is having a movie shot in your city.
As Larry Hartstein of CBSSports.com reports, director Ivan Reitman chose Cleveland as the site where he will film a football comedy called Draft Day. The movie is set to star Kevin Costner as the general manager of a poor football team who looks to the draft to find the players that will turn the franchise’s fortunes for the better.
Buffalo made a strong pitch to be the site of the film, but it was just not meant to be.
Reitman, the director, toured Ralph Wilson Stadium last month and seemed excited about shooting the movie in Buffalo, Clark told the paper. But despite incentives from New York State, it ended up being $3 million cheaper to film in Cleveland, a source told the paper.
Both the Bills and Browns have had quite the stretch of mediocrity over the past decade or so. The Bills currently boast the NFL’s longest streak of consecutive seasons without a playoff berth, having missed the postseason 13 straight seasons. Despite the drought the team has stayed relatively mediocre, having six seasons with at least seven wins in this stretch.
The Cleveland Browns franchise reemerged in 1999 after the original team was relocated and became the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. The Browns made the playoffs in 2002, losing a wild card game to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. They did have one 10-win season in 2007, but could not lock up a wild card spot.
While general manager Mike Lombardi looks to help the Browns turn a corner in the NFL, Kevin Costner will aim to bring some laughs to the big screen. Filming for Draft Day is slated to start this spring or summer.
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Down and Distance Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK