One of my favorite films of the past few years is “Straight Outta Compton,” the 2015 NWA chronicling that includes some amazing music and an absolutely drop-dead performance by Jason Mitchell as the late Eazy-E.
I first saw the movie about a week before it came out, and since then I’ve caught pieces here, pieces there on HBO.
Tonight, though, I ruined everything—because I am a sports geek.
So there’s a scene midway through the flick where NWA performs at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The year is 1989, and the group’s five members are warned beforehand by local cops not to play the hit, “Fuck the Police.” Of course, the command is ignored, and once Ice Cube starts blaring the lyrics, officers close in on the stage.
They get closer.
Then, as the police officers charge ahead, you notice something … off.
One of the undercover cops (played, I believe, by Michael Eauslin) is wearing a No. 27 New York Giants Rodney Hampton jersey. This, in and of itself, would be strange for a guy stationed in Detroit. I mean, sure, Hampton was a two-time Pro Bowler who cleared 1,000 yards rushing in five of his eight NFL seasons. But he was never more than a very good runner. You certainly wouldn’t find people outside of New York-New Jersey sporting his duds, as they might Jerry Rice or Walter Payton.
But that’s not the problem. No, the problem is that the Joe Louis riot took place in 1989.
And Hampton was drafted out of Georgia in 1990.