Football is Americas greatest sport. The epic spectacle taking place
over four quarters contains more athleticism, passion and drama than all other
sports combined. I believe when it comes to football, there is no rival. So
it should come as no surprise that the greatest sport movies are those that
center on tossin around the ol pigskin.
The next time youre flipping channels on a day when football is not being televised, or youre looking for a good DVD to pop in your player to kill time, consider these great football films. Itll make the wait until the next big game go that much faster.
The Ultimate Football Movie Top Ten List
1. The Longest Yard (1974 classic version)
Burt Reynolds set the bar high for football movies in his role as Paul Crew quarterback, badass and convicted felon. The climactic game pits the prison guards against the prisoners. The struggle for touchdowns between the Guards and the Mean Machine is football you only wish you could see played on the field. (Or, you could just go to any Raiders game and see it for real.)
Burt and company fight for their lives, kick guys in the balls and break friggin necks. It doesnt get any better than this.
2. Brians Song
The 1971 original starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams is the only movie where a guy can get a free pass to openly cry. (Okay, maybe Field of Dreams qualifies too, but thats baseball.) This story of the real-life friendship between Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers is touching. If you dont cry during the final scenes, youre a pussy.
Sean Astin plays Rudy, a kid who dreams of one day playing for Notre Dame. Everyone tells him hes too small to play football and not just because he played a hobbit in those Lord of the Rings movies.
This is one of those heartfelt dreams-can-come-true movies that avoid getting overly sappy. Okay, maybe it gets just a little sappy.
4. Remember the Titans
Weve seen this kind of sports movie a thousand times, but you know what, I like that kind of movie. This instant classic stars Denzel Washington as real-life coach Herman Boone, who brought together a racially divided community by leading the Titans to victory with a winning season. Hope I didnt ruin the ending.
5. Friday Night Lights
Billy Bob Thornton plays real-life Gary Gaines who coaches the Permian High Panthers in Odessa, Texas where high school football rules all. This gritty drama explores the pressures high school kids encounter when their lives are made or destroyed based on one football play. If you think pressure is playing "Madden" on Xbox, then watch this movie and see what its really like.
6. Varsity Blues
James Van Der Beek, formerly of TVs "Dawsons Creek", puts on the pads and joins the football team! In New Canaan, Texas, (Texas seems to figure a lot in football movies) the high school football team is the center of the universe. The Coyotes, under pure evil coach Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight), have won 22 straight divisional championships.
Can back up QB Dawson fill the shoes of their injured star quarterback? While there are some amazing football set pieces, this film is perhaps better known for one involving whip cream and actress Ali Larter.
7. The Waterboy
No sporting event is complete without someone randomly chanting, "You can do it!" Yes, it was Rob Schneider who first uttered this classic catchphrase in The Waterboy and now it is spoken, screamed and well, more likely it is loudly slurred, by football fans in stadiums all over America.
If you like Adam Sandler, football and low-brow humor, this is for you and all your tailgating buddies. Another highlight includes coach Fonzie as the wimpy coach who finally has his day.
8. Death & Texas
This indie gem tells the story of football superstar "Barefoot" Bobby Briggs in mockumentary fashion. The Austin Steers running back has been convicted of murder. Will he be allowed to play with his team on Mega Bowl Sunday before he is executed? Seek out this surprisingly smart indie that takes a satirical look at pro football and capital punishment.
9. Any Given Sunday
Football is a violent and intense sport. Director Oliver Stone attempts to capture these harsh realities in this behind-the-scenes drama focusing on a fictional team called the Miami Sharks. (Stone was unable to secure an NFL license for his film due to some of the dangerous subject matter portrayed such as drug use, violence and sex.)
Aging star quarterback, Jack "Cap" Rooney played by Dennis Quaid suffers a potentially season ending injury and is replaced by unpredictable newcomer Willie Beaman (Jaimie Foxx). Coach Tony DAmato (Al Pacino) must battle back from four straight losses to earn a place in the playoffs while feeling the heat from team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz).
A brutal look at the NFL that was not endorsed by the NFL is certainly worth seeing.
This forgotten 1979 camp classic is the female version of Revenge of the Nerds and it features a climax involving a legendary strip football game. Where else can you see an underneath shot of an all topless female huddle?