*Editor’s Note- This article was adapted from its original form, letters cut out from a magazine glued onto paper inside an unmarked envelope slid under my door*
On its surface, Little Giants is a fun, family-friendly film about a ragtag group of children fighting for inclusion on a local football team. However, at Watching Film, we go beyond the surface level and get into the details. We were initially trying to investigate claims of point shaving by the Cowboys in the big game, but something even more monumental became apparent. The truth is that Little Giants is really the story of two (possibly eternal) beings trying to play God in a small Ohio town.
A Tale as Old as Time Itself
The characters of Wilbur and Orville may seem like background players in the film, but they are really the puppet masters pulling the strings and deriving pleasure from the suffering of others. You may see the names and think, “Oh it’s a cute nod to Orville and Wilbur Wright, famous brothers from Ohio”, BUT *Curse of Oak Island/Ancient Aliens Voice* is it possible that the characters are not simply named after the Wright brothers but that they ARE the Wright Brothers? The answer is obviously yes. The only logical explanation is that the Wright brothers made a deal with the devil for the secrets to flight and eternal life. They decide to move back close to where they grew up, Dayton, Ohio, and live their days out in the small town of Urbania. This probably seems far-fetched and you are now demanding proof. I’m so glad you asked.
Wilber and Orville like to spend their time in the local diner. They are regulars and have a large circular booth seemingly reserved for them close to the door, allowing them to observe the townspeople coming and going. They have a chalkboard on the wall behind their booth where they like to put up betting lines. 19 minutes into the film we see Kevin O’Shea regaling Wilber, Orville and some friends with tales of his glory days. On the chalkboard is a lone point spread for the Ohio State vs Illinois football game: Buckeyes +14.
Little Giants was released October 14,1994, 6 days after the 1994 Battle for the Illibuck. Illinois came into Columbus 2-2 with wins over two very bad teams (Missouri and N. Illinois) and close losses to a middling Purdue team and a top 25 level Washington State in the opener. Ohio State entered the game as a six point favorite. They were 4-1 and ranked 17th in the nation. There were only two places you would see the Buckeyes losing by 14; on a small hanging chalkboard in Urbania, Ohio and on the actual field of play. Illinois defeated Ohio State 24-10, just as the Wright Brothers foretold. The filmmakers were just leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the audience.
Isn’t it obvious? The Wright brothers didn’t want to lose their crown as the most famous brothers from Ohio. The O’Shea brothers were a powder keg of charisma waiting to explode.
First, there’s Kevin O’Shea. He was a Heisman Trophy winner and champion as a player looking to pass on his knowledge and love of the game to the next generation. Hmmm a former player with excellent hair, who chews gum like a cow and looks great in a pair of sunglasses. Sound familiar?
Next you have Danny O’Shea. A man of a smaller stature with an innovative mind who demands a lot out of his assistants. He also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty while working at the family gas station. Does that sound like anybody else we know? Oh yeah.
So you basically have a brother team of Ditka and Saban in the football hotbed of Ohio. They would undoubtedly re-write history together, but apart neither will reach their true potential. The Wrights know this. They decide to pit the O’Shea brothers against each other for their pleasure, severing the idyllic town into two warring factions. The people of Urbania, Ohio are simply pawns in their eternal game.
The O’Shea brothers had tension bubbling just below the surface for many years. Everybody in town knew it. When the “One town, one team” controversy began, the Wrights knew it was time to strike.
Wilbur was the oldest, so he chose to whisper in Danny’s ear, understanding how to goad the younger brother instinctively. Orville was the Devil on Kevin’s shoulder. When the big free agent, Spike Hammersmith, moved into town the Wrights made their move. They both called the tip into their respective O’Shea brother at the same time setting off a race to the Hammersmith residence.
Then like most sociopaths or serial killers, they went to the scene of the crime so they could watch their twisted plot play out.
In many ways (mostly one) Little Giants can be seen as an obvious spiritual successor to the Ingmar Bergman picture The Seventh Seal. Two beings playing out what seems to be a trivial game with monumental stakes.
The television show Lost tried to ape, though not as successfully, this part of Little Giants with the inclusion of Jacob and the Man in Black. And much like the latter two brothers, the Wrights forgot what it was like to be human. They had spent so long as gods, they forgot the pull of family. Neither Wright brother ever got married, nor did they have any children. They had forgotten about love long ago. They could only feel something by cutting others lives into pieces. It was their last resort, their final source of anything remotely resembling pleasure. Their plan was foiled by true familial love and stellar two-way play by Becky “The Icebox” O’shea (who was illegally equipped and shouldn’t have been allowed to play but that’s a story for another time).
The struggle between the Wright’s in Little Giants is obviously allegorical, but to what end? Why did the filmmakers choose the Wright brothers? What were they trying to tell us?
The Real Message
The Wright brothers were also known as the Bishop’s Boys. Their father was a Bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. What is so interesting about that church you may ask? The Church of the United Brethren in Christ had a major split that was centered around several issues but chief among them was allowing congregants to *DUN DUN DUN* become members of secret societies like the Freemasons.
Little Giants is an obvious warning to the masses that secret societies such as the Freemasons or the Illuminati are trying control our lives. Just as the Wright brothers used the townspeople of Urbania, Ohio as their playthings, so do these societies try to use the citizens of the world. The filmmakers knew this. They are possibly even a part of these societies. But in their guilt, they decided to leave us a clue. Buckeyes +14. If they can control something as important as college football, they could undoubtedly control less important things like science and medicine.
You may ask “Seth, isn’t this theory simply the result of cabin fever brought on by self-isolation?”. To that I would respond “Who are you and how did you get over my moat and past my sentry drones?”