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We all can understand that there is no “I” in “team” but how many of us can honestly say we know the significance and appreciation of a team. Forever Strong is a sports drama inspired by actual events. We are introduced to a troubled rugby player, Rick, who injuries himself and his girlfriend driving drunk and finds himself in a juvenile detention center, not knowing this journey will forever change his life. Rick is given the choice to decide between jail and playing rugby for his hometown’s ultimate rival, Highland, which also means playing against his dad, his hometown’s coach.
With every scene we are able to see Rick’s struggle with understanding the value of teamwork and the desire to become a better person. It’s not uncommon for someone to neglect the obvious opportunity that is ahead of them, but many never will get over their own ego to do what is best for them. Rick’s first day of practice at Highland he is given a taste of what it means to be a part of a team but he doesn’t quite like the idea of playing for a team who he has competed against and loathed. He tries his hardest to be the star while his teammates try their hardest to put him in his place.
At the end of the day his new coach makes the team promise they will keep their bodies clean, eat right, and stay away from drugs and alcohol while Rick makes a complete joke out of it. You begin to see the relevance of this scene throughout the movie while Rick slowly begins to understand the significance of teamwork and what it means to the rest of his teammates. The thoughts that one has going through their head as they encounter something surreal are not only sincere but indescribable.
After a phenomenal victory not only for Highland but for Rick, personally, as he allows himself to open his eyes to being a part of a team, the team pulls over to help a family with car troubles and a terrible incident occurs leaving a teammate dead. All Rick can do is “run it out,” as he handles the impact of the news. Rick decides to stop the drugs and alcohol in order to be a better man and live in honor of his former teammate. Rick later on in the movie has pride in him and confessed, “I don’t do ANYTHING to embarrass myself, my team, and my family.
Rick is given a positive evaluation from his guidance counselor to go home just in time to play against Highland for the championship game. He is quickly pressured into revealing “Highland’s secrets,” refusing, causing his friends to set him up with drugs and alcohol and getting caught by the cops. He tries over and over to plead his case that he has changed to his peers and family, resulting in a failure, until a former friend tells the truth about what really happened. Rick ultimately wonders where his loyalty lies.
We all come to what seems like a fork in the road; we have no idea why life is tugging on us so hard but we eventually figured out what we have to do in order to protect yourself and your morals. Rick was shown the value of teamwork and selflessness while he was at Highland; although, he knew his teammates needed him for the game and he decided to go play for Highland where he was welcomed with open arms by his teammates to fulfill their common goal – win the championship game and come together as a whole. Forever Strong is much more than a movie about rugby, it’s about how one man struggles to become something much bigger than himself.