Breaking News: Maybe it's the imminent arrival of Becks and Posh. Or maybe it's just a tear-jerker of a story.
Whatever the case, late last night we started getting breathless calls that the town was panting hard for the rights to Warren St. John's moving Sunday New York Times piece about the Fugees, a youth soccer club made up of refusenik kids from war-torn parts of the Globe. Resettled in small town Georgia, they got kicked around some more.
The bidding went late into the night, and Variety, to give credit where credit it due, put the ball in the net first, though everyone in Hollywood knew of and was following this feel-good story.
As St. John wrote, "Early last summer the mayor of this small town east of Atlanta issued a decree: no more soccer in the town park. 'There will be nothing but baseball and football down there as long as I am mayor,' Lee Swaney, a retired owner of a heating and air-conditioning business, told the local paper. 'Those fields weren't made for soccer.' In Clarkston, soccer means something different than in most places. As many as half the residents are refugees from war-torn countries around the world. Placed by resettlement agencies in a once mostly white town, they receive 90 days of assistance from the government and then are left to fend for themselves. Soccer is their game."
It's especially feel good, because all concerned cut their producing fees to do a good deed, too: Insiders tell TMZ that Universal-based producers Kathy Kennedy and Frank Marshall, as well as former Universal production chiefs Scott Stuber and Mary Parent all cut their fees (and talent agents, their commissions) to ensure that the last $500,000 in the rights deal will be used to build a soccer field for these kids.