Favorite Football Movies

The theme for January is football movies!  Who will win the Superbowl?  I don’t know.  Hopefull the Patriots or the Broncos.  In the meantime, I visited my memories to remember the awesome pigskin movies of my past.  These are what  I consider to be the best football movies of all time.  The coaches’ inspirational speeches, the drama, the winning or losing ending, the comedy, the game, I love them.  Throw in some hot cheerleaders, some good tackles, and some former Saved By the Bell cast members and you have a rewatchable sports film!

13.  Rudy

1993

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An emotional ride as we watch Rudy lose his best friend in an accident, lose his fiance to his brother, be diagnosed with dyslexia, and continually be chastised for his lack of this and that.  Then, last play of the last game, Rudy sacks the quarterback and will be remembered forever!  Yay!  Not the best football movie but one that I have remembered my whole life and therefore needs to be on my list.  The Notre Dame Former Goonie.  Ha.

Great quote: Fortune: You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football players in the land for 2 years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.

12.  Jerry Maguire

1996

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Okay, okay, not really a football movie, more a sports agent movie but c’mon this movie rocked and you know it.  Rod Tidwell and Jerry Maguire show what the relationship between agent and player should be and how it could lead to real money for great players.

Great quote: Rod Tidwell: Anyone else would have left you by now, but I’m sticking with you. And if I have to ride your ass like Zorro, you’re gonna show me the money.

11.  Necessary Roughness

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Great quote: Coach Rig: Not much of a crowd.

Coach Gennero: Well, at least we have the home field advantage.

Coach Rig: The Alamo was the home field.

Another honorable mention is this film that followed the Texas State Armadillos as they tried to win at least one game of the season.  The team consisted of the aging ex football player, a military fanatic, a physics instructor (Sinbad), a martial-arts champion, and a female kicker.  Pretty funny and definitely worth another look, especially this month.

10.  Little Giants

1994

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Ed O’Neill and Rick Moranis played quarraling brothers that compete against each other with their respective Peewee football teams.  I loved it as a kid and when I watched it with my girls recently it was just as fun as I remembered.  It is cute, fun, funny, and a great example of how the kids that “aren’t good enough” can prove to be the opposite with determination.

Great quote: Danny O’Shea: I don’t know but I’ve been told.

Little Giants: Butz’s butt is green with mold.

Danny O’Shea: You say thank you I say please.

Little Giants: Kevin sits down when he pees.

9.  Invincible

2006

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A real story based on the story of Vince Papale, who was a 30 year old bartender from South Philadelphia who worked hard to play for the Eagles in 1976.  Mark Wahlberg, like always, is the man.  Very good acting!  Like all Disney movies, it is somewhat a fairy tale approach, but it worked considering it was about football and the love of the game rather than a Princess and true love.  Also being Disney, the film managed to not utter one bad word or any violence and yet with a good story (listen Hollywood) and some decent football filming and editing, they created a classic.  Again.

Great quote:Frank Papale: That touchdown got me through 30 years at that factory. Got me through all those times your mother being sick. When I told you not to get your hopes up… didn’t mean that I wasn’t.

8.  Friday Night Lights

2004

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I will always be a sucker for Texas based football movies, of course.  Plus I love Billy Bob Thornton.  What stood out most in this movie was the level of drama involved and the awesome ending in which the main team loses the game!  Ha.  It was also good enough to start a TV series.

Great quote: Coach Gary Gaines: Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didnt let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasnt one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman – you’re perfect!

7.  The Blind Side

2009

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The movie that finally got Austin actress Sandra Bullock a well deserved Oscar.  This movie was also based on a real life situation that resulted in her adopting Michael Oher, a bull of a man, and getting him to become an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick.  Even though a lot of the football action took a back seat to the family portion of the story, knowing what happened in the real NFL world propelled its overall dramatic impact to higher up on my list.  Great movie!

Great quote: Michael Oher: Any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that’s pretty good. I think that’s what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too.

6.  The Waterboy

1998

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Yeah yeah, Adam Sandler movies suck you say.  Well, do they?  Some were pretty damn funny as I was growing up and this was probably the best.  The tackle scenes from Bobby alone are worth revisiting numerous times.  A very funny and very quotable movie that makes it one of the best football movies ever.

Great quote: Mama Boucher: You gonna lose all your fancy “fools’ balls” games! And your gonna fail your big exam! Because school is…

Bobby Boucher: The devil? Everything is the devil to you, Mama! Well, I like school, and I like football! And I’m gonna keep doin’ them both because they make me feel good!  And by the way, Mama. “Alligators” are ornery ’cause of their “Medula Oblongata”!  And I like Vicki, and she like me back! And she showed me her boobies and I like them too!

5.  The Program

1993

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Remember that controversy?  The film originally included a scene in which Kane reads aloud comically “It says here that I’m good under pressure,” while holding a Sports Illustrated college football preview issue with him on the front cover. He then lies down the middle of a road on the yellow line as cars barely pass him at highway speeds. Several team members who are at first trying to stop Kane decide that it is a test of their bravery and team unity and join him. Influenced by the film, several teenagers imitated this scene and were either killed or suffered injuries. This resulted in the scene being removed from the film after its release. 

I loved how Lattimer was portrayed as a steroid pumped freak (that passed the NCAA drug tests, ha).  Not alot of people like this movie but I thought it was great.  It wasn’t funny but was still enjoyable because it showed the nitty gritty pressures of playing the game in a realistic setting.

Great quote: Steve Lattimer: I don’t know, its the battle, the going to war with the other guys, hanging together, having our own dorm, staying in hotels the night before the games, setting ourselves apart, being different than everybody else, having a chance to be somebody, to do something that people look up to you for, your strength, your courage, not everybody can play football… we are the lucky ones.

4.  The Replacements

2000

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Now to the funny ones.  This movie (Keanu, Woah!) is hilarious and had every element of a classic.  The plot is thin and easy to predict, but who cares when you are laughing the whole time?  The football scenes were very well shot and realistic (not to mention there weren’t the usual football plays), the comedy was raucous and very physical, the cheerleading scenes were amazing, and the locker room dance scene was side splitting.  The cheerleaders doing fake sex acts to distract the other team was awesome!

Great quote: Shane Falco: I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn’t be our style.

Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.

3.  Varsity Blues

1999

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“In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion.”  Try not to think about the whipped cream bikini or the bad acting.  Ok, do think about that (see above).  I loved this movie and it brings back some of my most fondest cinema memories.  The crowds were wild in the theater and the laughter kept coming (and the beer bottles snuck in the theaters were thrown at the screen, requiring police supervision).  Tweeter was hilarious in the movie (remember when he stole the cop car and drove around town naked in it), the late Paul Walker was great, and the rest of the cast took their Texas accents and ran into drama heaven.  It was hoaky (“I don’t want your life”) and predictable (2nd string quarterback challenges the coach) but it is highly entertaining (“I’m about to fuck your pig!”), especially with all the partying and the stripper club scenes.

Great quote: Charlie Tweeder: Jonathan Moxon you are under arrest for not being naked with some sophomore chick who wants to bathe you with her tongue, now take off your god damn clothes and get in the car.

2.  Remember the Titans

2000

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Denzel Washington has to introduce a racially divided team during the early 1970s with equal parts drama, comedy, and entertainment (and no cussing).  Disney doing what they do best.  It has the best parts of football cinema, even down to the mandatory last play in the last seconds of the championship game in the last minutes of the movie.  And the GREAT SPEECH by the head coach.  A great lesson in taking a cliche story and setting and making the story actually matter.  In this movie you know what you are going to see and, thankfully, you get what you pay for.

Great quote: Coach Boone: This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin’ with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe… I don’t know, maybe we’ll learn to play this game like men.

1.  Any Given Sunday

1999

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Okay seriously this movie was bad ass.  It showed, hopefully, the reality of football and how the mindset and insanity really exist in that world.  Oh and Elizabeth Berkely is in it.  The tension with the players and coaches is set to high with the direction of Oliver Stone (who directed Natural Born Killers), who also focuses on the corruption that media and other people force on professional sports.  All the cast are great but Jamie Foxx rocks as the superstar/rock star/ celebrity player.  Although not his best film, when I think about the overall effect the football world has on me, I remember this movie and its lines and messed up moments.

Great quote:

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