If you think you've seen every variation of underdog football movie — prisoners stand up to guards, poor mining town stands up to rich town, desolate oil town stands up to rich town, black juvenile delinquents stand up to rich white kids, black kids and white kids unite to stand up against racism, Air Bud stands up to anti-canine gridiron protesters — think again. Last week, Fordson (Mich.) High School defeated its crosstown rival Dearborn by a score of 16-14. The twist? Fordson is a primarily Muslim school, and its players are fasting in observance of Ramadan.
"No Excuses," read special T-shirts worn by Fordson fans and team assistants on the sidelines during Friday's game at Dearborn High. The shirts referred to the team's determination this year not to make Ramadan — when Muslims abstain from liquids and food during daylight hours — an excuse for losing… Over the past three weeks, most of the team's players have been abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset, making workouts especially tough. But Zaban, an observant Muslim who fasts, made sure that the Ramadan season did not become a distraction for players.
Man, that Zaban is like the Muslim Saban. Unfortunately, this movie will never get made. I think there's a law somewhere that says Hollywood can only portray Muslims as terrorists. If they made this movie, the heroic kids from Dearborn would realize that the second-generation Americans with Muslim roots are actually terrorists who are going to blow up the stadium if Fordson doesn't win. Phew. Thank goodness. For a minute there I thought my stereotypes weren't safe.