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What Home Team’s Kevin James Learned About Youth Sports When He Coached His Kid’s Little League Team

If you are a parent of a young athlete, and you’ve found yourself serving on the coaching staff of your kid’s team, then you are very familiar with the pushy parent who likes to coach from the stands. They often are barking orders at their child, overriding the sentiments of the actual coaching staff, because deep down, they believe they know better. Home Team is a new movie heading to Netflix starring Kevin James, but in this feature, the parent in the stands actually DOES know more than the coaches on the field… because the dad in the bleachers is former New Orleans Saints football coach Sean Payton. 

Kevin James plays Sean Payton in the story of the NFL coach heading back to his Texas home following a suspension. Payton thinks that he will use the league-mandated time off to reconnect with his son, Connor (Tait Blum). Except, Connor’s team sucks. So Payton can’t help but get involved. When CinemaBlend interviewed James about his own involvement in youth sports, the father of four says that he has tried to coach his children's teams, and this is what he learned:   

I coached my son in Little League for a little bit, and I was out there standing at second base with him. You were in the field, that’s how young they were. It’s not easy. It isn’t easy. When they’re turning to you, and you’re (saying), ‘Listen, man, if this guy hits, you gotta run to third, and you gotta look for the cut off! Watch that cut off!’ And he’s going, ‘Can we get ice cream?’ And you’re going, ‘OK, you’re not in this right now. I can tell you’re not in this. We got to find something else, maybe.’ So it’s a difficult thing.

Right there, Kevin James nails the difference between wanting your kids to succeed at something, and your kids wanting to succeed at something. They need to want it, because if the passion isn’t already there, moms and dads won’t be able to add much else. 

In Home Team, Sean Payton sees that his son, Connor, has the talent to succeed. But the team as a whole is struggling because the current coach (played by Grown Ups 2’s Taylor Lautner) is in over his head. But Payton isn’t able to just insert himself into the team. For one, it’s not his town, and it’s not his team. But on the flip side, Payton is under suspension from the NFL because of his involvement in “Bountygate,” or the paying of Saints players to inflict deliberate harm on opposing players. Home Team doesn’t embrace all of that drama. It’s still very much a Kevin James comedy, produced by Happy Madison. But the character developments hidden off the field of this football comedy will have parents something tangible to discuss with their kids after they watch the movie. Even though, your kid probably just wants to go get ice cream.

Keep an eye on our guide to upcoming Netflix movies to learn when Home Team and many more original features arrive on the streaming service. And if Home Team has you hungry for good football movies, we ranked the 10 best, so see if you agree with our list and start renting.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.