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Faith-based film tries reaching past its audience, but falls back on preaching to its own choir way too much.

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He's damned united behind Brian Clough

From Mike Biglin, copy editor, Boston Herald sports:

Was really looking forward to you getting around to reviewing "The Damned United," as I am a full-fledged Derby County supporter (Brits always say to me: I've never met a Derby fan who's not from Derby! I'm a born-and-raised Philly guy - don't hold that against me!) and one of the few and the proud who knew all about the wonder of Ol' Big 'Ead well before this movie arrived.

I'm psyched to see it. It's playing in a theatre where I live, an Embassy Suites joint in Waltham, MA, and hope to see it in a couple days.

I know you're time is limited and you have to watch A TON of stuff, but it's definitely worth going on youtube.com and checking out some Brian Clough videos -- some of it is just magical stuff.

To show how magical this guy was AND still is: Derby almost revolted, players and fans, when he resigned from Derby in 1973. After a brief spell at Brighton, he then went to Leeds, bitter rivals of the Rams, and you know what happened there. THEN, after a year off, he took over Nottingham Forest -- which are ABSOLUTE BEYOND HATED RIVALS of the Rams. That's our true derby matchup -- by the by, the term "derby", meaning a local or close rival game, comes from the city of Derby, which is one of the original teams in English football (1884).

So, Derby to Leeds is like Red Sox to Yankees, a la Johnny Damon; Derby to Forest is like the Hatfields and McCoys -- UNADULTERATED HATRED. and, Clough went on to lead Forest -- a basic struggling midlands club like Derby was before he showed up -- and led them to EVEN GREATER GLORY: winning the first division (now Premier League) title, went on a record 42-match unbeaten run in 77-78 (wasn't broken until Arsenal '04) AND won BACK TO BACK European Championships (now called UEFA Champions League). Completely UNHEARD OF, and a feat that NEVER will be repeated by a club so small. he coached there for 18 years.

And where does Clough stand today with Rams fans? You would think, with him going to Leeds THEN what he did with Forest (while Forest ruled, the Rams dropped all the way back down to the THIRD Division), he was hated. NO SIR. Completely and utterly beloved to this day. Just unveiled bust of Clough next to the Rams dugout at their ground, Pride Park. The road that links Derby and Forest is called Brian Clough Way.

He lived in Derby and died there, and the memorial service was held at Pride Park, there was so much demand. Whoever wins the Forest-Derby season series, they earn the Brian Clough Trophy.

He's just an incredible figure and story, and it's his demeanor and his MOUTH that take it to another level. Below I attached some of his best quotes -- they are legendary. Hope you enjoy them.

* * *

-- "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."

-- "Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. If you like me, send them while I'm alive."

-- "The river Trent is lovely, I know because I have walked on it for 18 years."

-- "Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right."

-- "They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job."

-- "When I go, God's going to have to give up his favourite chair."

-- "If I had an argument with a player we would sit down for twenty minutes, talk about it and then decide I was right!”

-- “I gave my players a version of the same message at ten-to-three every Saturday: 'I would shoot my granny right now for three points this afternoon.' They knew how important it was to give everything in the cause of victory. Every time. That's why my granny enjoyed more lives than my cat.”

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