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Autumn's Dream (2-Hour TV movie)
Log line: A deaf athlete struggles to make an NFL team.
Brian's Song meets Rocky
Davey Corcoran, athletic, about 20 years old and deaf, is a student at Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf in Washington, D.C. Corcoran is a star quarterback for the school’s football team. He is so good, in fact, that he would be drafted by a National Football League team if not for the fact that he is deaf.
Corcoran is finishing out his last year of school much to the chagrin of the school’s coaching staff. He is set to join the publications department of the University of Maryland, the school his girlfriend, Judy Wanaker, is attending after his graduation. However, Corcoran harbors a dream. He wants to play professional football.
He sends letters to all thirty-two teams of the National Football League requesting a chance to try out. His parents and Judy wish that he not entertain these dreams because they are afraid that no team will accept him and such a realization would shatter Davey. Despite this, Davey is determined to try. He believes that he must prove to himself, his family, his friends and the deaf community that he can compete in a hearing world.
He is not selected during the National Football League draft nor is he signed as an undrafted free agent. His coach suggests that they wait to see if a quarterback is hurt prior to training camp. If so, the coach would try to get him an invitation to camp.
A backup quarterback for the Chicago Bears is hurt before training camp and the Gallaudet coach gets Davey an invitation to compete and he ultimately makes the team.
As the football season draws to a close, the Bears are in the thick of the race for the playoffs. They have to win the last game to make the post-season. They win, but they lose their first string quarterback. As the Bears prepare for the first playoff game Corcoran is the team’s only reserve quarterback.
In the National Football Conference Title game the second string quarterback is hurt and Corcoran is sent in to pull the game out.
He leads his team back from a deficit to tie the game 17-17. The opposing team scores, taking a one touchdown lead. In his attempt to bring his team back, Corcoran throws an interception, which leads to a field goal and a score of 27-17 near the end of the third quarter. He leads his team in a drive that concludes with a touchdown. The extra point is good. The score is now 27-24.
Deaf football fans throughout the country take to their smartphones and send messages to friends about the game. At Gallaudet, students are watching the game in TV rooms and in individual dorm rooms. More students stand outside the rooms in the hall looking into the rooms to watch the game.
Messages about the game and Corcoran are trending on Twitter concluding with #webelieve14. 14 is Corcoran’s uniform number.
The Bears defense stops the opposing team and get the ball back with two minutes remaining in the game.
Corcoran leads his team on a drive that takes them to the opposing team’s 10 yardline where he calls time out to discuss the next play with his coach. He then returns to the huddle with only seconds remaining. He calls the play, the team breaks the huddle and sets in formation, the ball is snapped, and Corcoran throws –- the pass is intercepted in the end zone and the game is over.
The crowd at the stadium is cheering, but Corcoran, who is dejected as he kicks at the ground, can’t hear them.
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