If you’ve seen Semi-Pro with will Ferrell, you know about the Flint Tropics. But if you’ve ever been in Flint, Michigan during an autumn or winter season, you know that the words “tropics” and “Flint” should not be put together. So this begs the question: Where did the Flint Tropics get their name?
The Flint Tropics is, of course, a fictional name that was created for the movie. According to Ferrell, the writers of the movie thought it was funny to combine this Midwest city with something odd that totally does not fit with it. The word “tropics” is one of the words that came to mind when writing the script and the movie writers and producers fell in love with it.
The other thing that the writers felt was funny was the fact that it was associated with Flint. Flint isn’t a small city by any stretch of the imagination, but it isn’t really large enough to warrant having a basketball team as Semi-Pro pointed out. Today, the city has about 102,000 residents. The decline of the auto industry in the city has really caused an exodus from the town that has more than 125,000 just ten years ago.
Back in the 1970s when the movie takes place, Flint was more of a town on the rise. This is just one of the elements of the movie that stands true, but there are others. For one thing, teams in the former ABA would move around frequently and, in some cases, every year. It didn’t matter how popular or successful the team was. The Minnesota Muskies, for instance, had the second best record in the ABA one year and they were still forced to move to Florida. That’s where the team became the “Floridians.” Moving around so much would create some odd combinations of city names and team names so the Flint Tropics wasn’t so far-fetched when you think about it that way.
If you are a huge fan of movies, you probably recognize Semi-Pro’s storyline. It is very similar to that of the 1970’s hit Slap Shot starring Paul Newman. Both movies involve an unsuccessful team in a small, poor city. Both teams are in danger of being closed down unless they find a way to bring more fans to games and start winning. If they don’t accomplish their goal, they won’t have a chance to play in the professional league.
If you get a chance, Semi-Pro is a good movie to add to your Will Ferrell collection.
Labels: Flint Tropics, Semi-Pro, Will Ferrell