This movie tried to portray, not the orchestrated parade which takes place on "any given Sunday" as seen on TV, but rather the actual lives and relationships and complicating factors involved in professional sports. Though perhaps somewhat "intense" to the extreme, the viewer is drawn into the world of each of the characters, even when those worlds conflict. The visuals were stunning; the subtleties brought depth and only added to an already great movie (i.e., the visual comparisons between modern sport, ancient gladiators, and religion) and provided food for thought. The cast was superior. Most of the characters actually developed through the film, and they worked well together. Al Pacino was tremendous, yet each of the characters, in his/her own way, continuously drew the viewer back to reflecting upon what it means to have one's life consumed by just one thing. This movie is recommended for anyone looking for an evocative, thought-provoking, and raw cinematic experience. Football is not just a game - for some it is life and death.