Adam Sandler Making A Sports Comedy About A Ridiculous NFL Controversy

By Nathan Kamal | 1 month ago

adam sandler

Fans of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and bizarre football controversies are soon to be satisfied, now that the trailer for Home Team has been released. The newest project from Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions takes on the strange saga of the Bountygate Scandal, in which it turned out the players on the NFL’s New Orleans Saints were being paid monetary bonuses for deliberately injuring opposing players. James is starring as Saint Coach Sean Payton, and despite involving actual human injury, it’s apparently a family-friendly comedy. 

You can see the trailer for Adam Sandler’s Home Team below:

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Home Team loosely adapts Bountygate with a fictionalized version of Payton pulling a Bad News Bears and using his suspension for the 2012 NFL season to bond with his son and turn his terrible junior football team around. This being an Adam Sandler-adjacent vehicle, Home Team is less about the actual facts of Bountygate (for which the Saints received some of the most severe sanctions in NFL history) and focuses more on jokes about overweight children, projectile vomiting, and some father-son bonding. Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, and Jackie Sandler all co-star with James, while the real-life Payton was involved in the script production. 

Investigations into Bountygate kicked into gear in 2010, when an anonymous whistleblower reported on the Saints’ bounty system. It quickly became national news, implicating Payton, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who reportedly concocted the system), and general manager Mickey Loomis, among others. While Payton did actually work with his son’s sixth-grade football team during his suspension, the light-hearted tone of Home Team’s trailer points to the controversy being more of a background to the story rather than an in-depth examination. As a producer, Adam Sandler seems to be specializing more in heartwarming comedy rather than social criticism, but that’s what we would expect from Happy Madison Productions. 

While Home Team’s trailer certainly seems to be making the case that Payton was (at best) a distant father and obsessed with his job, that’s pretty standard for a sports comedy of this variety, in which the first head coach to be suspended from the NFL in decades learns valuable life lessons. Of course, Adam Sandler and Kevin James have a long history of acting together on projects, co-starring in Hubie Halloween for Netflix in 2020, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2007, and the Grown-Ups series of films. Sandler himself has worked closely with Netflix for a while now, and according to Indiewire, renewed his production deal with the streaming giant in 2020 for another four years. 

Home Team is scheduled to be released by Netflix on January 28, 2022. While James has recently experimented with more dramatic roles, as in his villainous turn in 2020’s Becky, a family film with vomiting children is a little bit more his speed. According to Screenrant, Netflix viewers have reportedly watched over two-billion hours of Adam Sandler films in recent years, so it’s not surprising that the company is hoping to get some James action in there too.