Rivals The Boom Squad Shows Liberty City Youth Football Isn’t Just About Scoring Touchdowns
There is a new documentary about youth football in a part of Miami where growing up is tough because bullets sometimes get in the way. The film centers on the Liberty City Warriors and their rivalry with the crosstown Gwen Cherry Bulls — but it isn’t about that. Not really. It isn’t even mostly about football, at the heart of it. There is a greater calling.
“Our purpose is to save lives,” as Luther Campbell told us Monday of the Liberty City Optimist program he helped found more than 20 years ago.
The film, “Rivals: The Boom Squad,” is about what helps knit together a largely impoverished community fractured by gun violence. It is about youth football as an escape for so many kids there.
The 45-minute documentary premieres Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on Viceland, a cable channel. There also will be a live local viewing Sunday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 N.W. 22nd Ave., Miami.
The documentary is important because the purpose of what’s going on in Liberty City and other inner-city youth programs is. It is good fighting evil: the opposite of all of the wrong that can turn kids bad. It isn’t a panacea, but it is a penicillin.
More current NFL players call Miami home than any other city (27 entering this past season), and a disproportionate number of those who reach the top are from the five-square-mile neighborhood of Liberty City.
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