- - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Before Terrell Suggs steps foot on a football field on Sundays, there are two movie scenes he has to watch to get him pumped up for the occasion.

The first is Tony D’Amato’s “inch by inch” speech in “Any Given Sunday,” during which Al Pacino’s character, a football coach, offers one last motivational speech during his team’s championship game.

The second is the president’s address in the 1998 film “Armageddon,” which is given to the world as a group of astronauts prepare to destroy an asteroid from ending civilization on Earth.

The motivation has worked for Suggs this season, to the tune of 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles. He’s been a mainstay in the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year after arguably putting in the best regular season of his nine-year career.


But it’s not just for motivation’s sake that Suggs watches these scenes before games.

He’s as passionate a film fanatic as there is. Before facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9 of the NFL season, Suggs offered the line, “They already declared war on us. We’re taking 53 men to the apocalypse and we ain’t bringing flowers.”

The quote drew some laughs from reporters, as if it was Suggs — normally a jokester in the locker room — just being Suggs. Not quite. Suggs was actually referencing a line from the 2005 movie “The Jacket,” starring Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley.

Prior to visiting Cincinnati in the final week of the regular season, Suggs spoke fondly of the orange “Star Wars” storm trooper that parades in the stands of Paul Brown Stadium each week. Suggs, a huge “Star Wars” fan, then compared himself to the series’ evil villain.

“All we need is [Darth] Vader and we should have everything we need,” Suggs said before Baltimore’s 24-16 win over Cincinnati.

Sitting in his locker room at the Ravens’ team facility is a flat-screen television that just fits within the space allotted to him. Frequently a movie’s on, ranging from comedies such as “Team America” to action flicks like “Black Hawk Down.”

Two recent movies he says have blown his mind are “Black Swan” and “Inception,” films he’ll make time to watch if they’re scheduled to play on a movie channel.

His love for movies began at an early age, when Suggs, his father and his brothers would regularly watch films together, whether at the theater or in the comfortable confines of their home.

Over time, Suggs began watching films with a more careful and critical eye, studying them and wondering how certain shots were filmed and how certain ideas were created.

“Sometimes I’ll watch a movie and I’ll wonder how long it took them to get that shot, or how many takes it took,” Suggs said. “Or the camera, where did they set the camera or how did they light that?

After Baltimore ended the 2008 season with a loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship, Suggs was injured and couldn’t begin training right away. At the advice of his personal assistant, he started his own film company, which he called Team Sizzle Worldwide, dubbed after his nickname, “Sizzle.” Suggs has shot four short films since, and a feature film, “The Coalition,” is in post-production.

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