Who doesn’t love to kick back and watch a classic football movie? The adrenaline rush, the emotions we feel from watching Hollywood’s take on our favorite game, is a feeling like no other. But what I love about football movies is the different spin each one takes. From the incredibly light-hearted and silly “The Waterboy” to the much more serious, heart-felt rendition of “Brian’s Song”, each motion pictures captures its audience for a different reason, in a different way.
Having already compiled a Guide to the Best Baseball Movies of All Time, I thought it only right to do the same justice to the gridiron game. What’s more, I am looking for your participation. After I present you with my front runners, I am seeking your input in two ways: First, vote on the poll below. Then, I would appreciate any comments letting me know why you voted the way you did. I will add your comments to the article under the movie you selected.
The choices (in random order):
The Longest Yard (1974) – In The Longest Yard, an evil warden asks a former NFL quarterback serving time, to assemble an all-inmate team to play against the much more refined team of guards.
Friday Night Lights – Also a TV series, the movie is a profile of the Permian Panthers and the town they play in, Odessa, Texas. From the highs to lows, FNL chronicles just how important football is to so many.
Dorinda: “Friday Night Lights” – I like that it gives us insight into what young football players in the US go through, especially in the Southern US; football is like a religion down there. The stories are great and I like the characters; the actors did an amazing job!
The Program – James Caan plays a college football coach who will do almost anything to win the big game, with his morals called into play. It also highlights the off-field lives of players and tackles some true-to-life scenarios young players encounter.
Kelly Bale: We watched The Program on road trips in HS. It’s got my vote 100%. Latimer was unforgettably juiced! I don’t even need to say how we played having watched it and walked off the bus into Taylor Field.
Invinceable – The story of the oldest rookie player—other than a kicker—in NFL history. Eagles fan Vince Papale realizes his dreams as he gets an audition to make the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Blind Side – A homeless black teen, Michael Oher has been in trouble with the school system for years until a couple, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, take him in, becoming his legal guardians. His life takes a dramatic turn for the better, as he begins to realize his potential on the football field, but also in life.
Lance Beauparlant: The Blind Side!! This movie has it all from the highest high to the low facts of real life and the struggle to which a lot of players go through that average fan has no clue about. I am 30 m from Ontario and I love this side of sports it gives me goose bumps. It’s s feel good story with a great ending and the Mr Orr had not one thing given to him that he did not deserve- the rest he worked his ass off for and that’s why I love this movie !!!
Rudy – Rudy Ruettiger has a dream to play football at the University of Notre Dame, and will not let anything —money, grades, people —stand in his way. Rudy’s dream becomes reality as he is added to the Fighting Irish roster.
Remember the Titans – As in some other states, football is a way of life in Virginia, and this is particularly evident in this story from set in 1971 Alexandria, Virginia. As the school board was forced to integrate, race was put on the fore, testing not only the lives of students, but of the institution of high school football.
Concussion – Dr. Bennet Omalu, after an autopsy on former player Mike Webster, discovered neurological deterioration not dissimilar to Alzheimer’s disease. He calls the disorder “chronic traumatic encephalopathy” and has his findings published. The doctor begins a mission to raise awareness about the dangers of head trauma, taking on the world’s most successful league—the NFL.
Any Given Sunday – Coach DAmato’s Miami Sharks were sitting atop the league standings. With his team sliding in the standings four years later, and with attendance dropping with ageing stars, reality sets in as he is engrossed in a battle with the upstart president and co-owner of the organization.
Brian’s Song – Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers are Chicago Bears teammates in the 1960s. The growing friendship at a time of racial segregation flourished. Everything comes crashing down as life-changing news is revealed.
Ron Montgomery: Brian’s Song saw it when I was a kid playng football. Loved the story. An incredibly well made movie of the week (made for TV movie)
The Waterboy – Bobby Boucher is the water boy for a successful college football team until he is fired for a mishap. His life takes a dramatic change as his second true calling—rushing the quarterback on the field—is realized. But what will his mama say?
We are Marshall – In 1970, Marshall University, set in the small town of Huntington, West Virginia, is left in limbo after a plane crash took the lives of 75 of the school’s football players, staff members and boosters. New coach Jack Lengyel joined the program the next year, trying to rebuild the program and the community.
Draft Day – As Sonny Weaver Jr., general manager of the Cleveland Browns, is set for one of football’s most important days, NFL draft day, he is faced with more obstacles than just his self doubt about his trade with Seattle for their top pick.
Jerry Maguire – Sports agent Jerry Maguire is faced with some difficult decisions, one of which is whether to stay on with his management firm. Opting to go it alone, Macguire has to hang on to his star NFL player or else face teh crippling prospect of not having any noteworthy clients.
All the Right Moves – Stefan Djordjevic, a star high school football player, has all hopes of a college career dashed after an altercation with his coach, who has him blackballed from recruiters. Can he find a way to turn things around and get the nod from a top college?
Cameron: The Replacements–Two reasons: 1) it shows the NFL for what it is, a money hungry league that cares nothing for it’s fans or it’s players. 2) It also shows that just because your the highest paid doesn’t make you the best. That and Gene Hackman.
Anonymous: Shows a coach who didn’t care about the health of his players only winning and players who left it all on the field for the love of the game.
North Dallas Forty
Roman: It is the 70s, before the players associations had any power. Nick Nolte is the aging “best hands in the league.” Mac Davis (a period crooner) is brilliantly cast as the narcissistic QB. Add a cast of first rate character actors, turn down political correctness to less than zero, add painkillers and enter the fast lane. John Matusak more or less plays himself. If you want an uplifting beautiful story, watch Brian’s Song. If you want it straight up, NDF. So funny it hurts.