The Miranda Rights state that you have the right to remain silent.
Apparently Coach Leroy Johnson didn’t get the memo.
“BS High” explores the story behind the viral blowout high school football game that aired on ESPN between Bishop Sycamore and powerhouse IMG, where the former lost 58-0. What were they doing playing one of the top teams in the country? Turns out, like the school’s acronym BS, the high school is a total fraud, with a football team coached by a self-proclaimed fraudster.
Much of the documentary is Coach Johnson sitting down, looking straight into the camera, telling you his lies right to your face. The most interesting thing about the film is that we have a villain soliloquizing on how he did it while looking in your eyes, peering into your soul. It’s like sitting down with a Scooby Doo bad guy revealing his master plan. The school part of BS High School was an elaborate ruse to field a football team. To find out how our villain pulled it off, you have to watch the doc.
We have a particularly loathsome character at the center of the film. He makes admissions with zero remorse for his misdeeds. And his misdeeds were exploiting kids – mere high schoolers – mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s as bad as you get. He freely incriminates himself for the allure of the spotlight, proud of his villainy.
But, I wish the film more deeply explored the lives of Coach Johnson’s victims. When the story of BS High School first broke, the Twittersphere responded with a whirlwind of jokes. A fake high school playing on national television? What a riot! The documentary reveals the suffering behind the joke. But we hear these players’ testimonies sitting down in static settings. We don’t get snippets from a day in the lives of these kids. I felt too removed from the heart of the story.
While BS High tells an interesting story that at times is funny and heartbreaking, with a compelling sociopath at its center, it lacks depth – in that we’re told about the lives of the victims, but we don’t get to dig deep by experiencing their lives with them. But the story, and its antagonist, is so wild you have to check it out.
It’s certainly worth a watch, especially if you want to know the full story behind that ESPN high school football game everyone was talking about for a few days a few years ago.
The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and will be available on HBO this summer.