“Someone to Lean On”
From Sports Illustrated December 16, 1996
By: Gary Smith
Vocabulary hunt- find 5 words you did not know/understand the meaning of…
What is the figurative and literal meaning of the term “the margin”?
Pick one of the following quotes from the article and explain what it means in the
text and what it means to you:
“The choices that make or unmake a life are so small” (pg 2).
“Each sentence Radio speaks is a victory for them” (pg. 5).
“Because cruelty runs downhill, it wasn’t a good idea for a cat or dog to annoy
him” (pg 6).
“Why would a coach work so hard at discipline and deployment and then let
loose a pinball on his chess board?” (pg. 7)
“In the history of long shots, was there ever one longer than the possibility that
a man such as he would be known and loved wherever he went? (pg. 11)
Radio, inspired by a true story, is a movie about hometown heroes. A
football coach in a small town starts to notice a mentally handicapped man who
walks around with a shopping cart and transistor radio. When the coach finds the
man being ridiculed and abused by some of his players, he decides to teach
everyone a lesson and give the man a job on the team. This causes problems for
the coach as he deals with others’ intolerance.
Watch the movie and reflect using the tic-tac-toe board below.
Choose three questions either going vertically, horizontally, or
diagonally. Answer each question in a complete paragraph (5-8
sentences) on another sheet of paper.
Radio is not always
treated well. Describe at
least three times he was
either treated poorly or
Describe the impact
Radio had the Jones
family. Use specific
examples from the
Write a summary of the
movie. Include a plot
diagram if needed.
Do you think people in
New Egypt would have a
similar response to
someone like Radio?
Explain your answer.
Coach Jones says, “Truth
is, we’re not the ones
who have been teaching
Radio. Radio’s been the
teachin’ us.” What does
he mean by that? What
does Radio teach
Symbols are used as a
representation of an idea
or a belief. What could a
radio possibly symbolize
in this movie? How can a
radio connect to the
character Radio’s life?
A static character is a
character who stays the
same. A dynamic
character is one who
changes. Describe at
least one static and one
dynamic character from
the movie.
Describe your favorite
part of the movie. Then
describe a least favorite
part, or a part that made
you mad.
Why do you think people
have a hard time
accepting people who act
or look differently than
the majority? How can
we change that?
Research the real radio: James Robert Kennedy of Anderson, South Carolina.
Write a brief biography about him
Make a collage of pictures, words, quotes that detail the movie Radio