Many know that Coach Carr selects a book or movie each year as the theme to motivate the Wolverine players. Funny, because you only really learn what Carr’s choice was when the team has a good season. I remember back in 1997 there was a lot of talk about Carr’s choice of the mountain climbing epic Into Thin Air, and this season there’s been just as much talk about Cinderella Man.
Well, apparently word of this year’s theme made it to Hollywood, and perhaps as far as Australia, as the star of Cinderella Man Russell Crowe got wind of Carr’s choice and decided to give Coach Lloyd a call over at Schembechler Hall. Check out this excerpt from the Detroit Free Press:
So Carr walked into his office one day a few weeks ago and passed the football executive assistant. Nothing unusual about that, except on this day she said: “Oh, and Russell Crowe is going to be calling you.” “Oh, sure,” he replied. Sure enough, Carr’s phone rang. Crowe was on the line.
“We had a great conversation,” Carr said Thursday. “We talked for 20 minutes. Of course, when he called, I was not expecting a call from Russell Crowe. I told him how much I enjoyed the film, and he did say that it was one of the great experiences he had and he loved the movie.
“He said he bought a football team in Australia, where he lives,” Carr said. “He asked me if I would be interested in coming to Australia and seeing his team. I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be happy to.’
“I said, ‘If we’d have time to drink a beer, I’ll come.’ He said, ‘Yeah, we’ll do that.’ “
I did some research and it doesn’t look like Crowe owns an American football team, it is actually the South Sydney Rabbitohs, a rugby team that’s been playing in Austrailia for 100 years. Nicknames for the team include “Souths”, “the Bunnies” or “the Pride of the League”. Not quite football but close enough I guess.
Earlier this year Crowe, along with a partner, secured 75% ownership of the squad. He’s been involved with his beloved Rabbitohs for a while, in 2005 he made them the first club team in Australia to be sponsored by a film, when he negotiated a deal to advertise his movie Cinderella Man on their jerseys. Here’s a look at Souths uniform (I calls ’em “Souths” now that I’m in the loop), looks like they were inspired by a different movie: