It’s that time of the year when you have to ask yourself; Are you ready for some football? My answer is always, unequivocally, YES! I love the game of football. During the football season I immerse myself in all things pigskin. I have DIRECTV so I can have NFL Sunday Ticket (and because I live in the middle of nowhere, but I do like it better than the other one.) I watch as many games per week as I can, I follow stats, I have several Fantasy Football teams (Reigning champion in a couple different leagues!) and I talk about the gridiron as often as I can. So yeah, I kinda like the game, it makes sense I enjoy movies about this great sport. I am a sucker for sports movies in general and eat up any film that has football at its center.
Here is a list, in no particular order, of my favorite Football Movies.
Johnny Be Good
This is one of my favorite Robert Downey Jr. movies. He plays the side kick of the All-American, top rated, high school quarterback being recruited by tons of corrupt colleges. They ply him with clothes, women, drugs, promises of homes and cars; plus they try that with his family and friends. This is a great guilty pleasure leaser movie… scratch that, I don’t feel guilty for watching this. I enjoy watching this. You should too. There are quotes from this movie I use to this day.
Any Given Sunday
What happens when Oliver Stone says “I am going to make a movie about football”? This movie happens. Stone tried, but obviously failed, to get the blessing of the NFL to use their teams and logos and I am sure I know why; Lawrence Taylor said that he had flashbacks to his wild and crazy playing days while filming the movie. I am sure the NFL didn’t want the seedy underbelly of their multimillionaire’s lives portrayed in this way for the world to see. It is a good movie. The football action is harsh and well shot. I only have one issue with the movie. The teams have the same jersey for both home and away games. I know it is a stupid thing to notice and a really stupid thing to let bother me, but it does. Otherwise I really like it.
Here is one of the better pregame speeches around. Love the Al Pacino. (NSFW – Language)
This movie was right in the middle of my formative football year’s wheelhouse. My buddies and I saw this and we immediately wanted to go out and go helmet to helmet. This got us jacked up to play the game and we all tried to created snot bubbles with each hit. We all wanted to be Steve Lattimer… frankly he scared the crap out of most of us so we preferred to pretend to be him than actually meet him. Plus it has Mike Tomlin in it… er Omar Epps.
This is a great sequence in the film.
The Longest Yard (1974 & 2005)
I like both versions of this movie for different reasons. The original is a classic. Burt Reynolds was lean, mean and in his prime. It was gritty and well executed on every level. The remake played more comedic yet did something more remakes should; they held true to the original script and took the opportunity to give that nod and wink at key moments. Both movies were of the same ilk but different enough to be separate films. I like them both.
Here is a look at the original.
And here is the remake. Burt got the better end of this scene…
Another Sandler entry on the list, but it should be on most football movie lists. Adam makes entertaining, very quotable movies. And that is one of the things that makes ‘The Waterboy’ so enjoyable. It is just good old fun.
Two-A-Days: Hoover High
This was a documentary on MTV for a couple of years. It followed the Alabama high school football team from Hoover on and off the field. I could have done with a little less of the off the field stuff, but that is just my issue with “Reality TV”. This was a great look at high school football in a big football state and a premier program in that state as well as the pressure these kids face.
When this movie is on, I watch it, every time. I cannot think of a time when I passed by this movie for something else. I am a huge Scott Bakula fan which is a big reason that I stop and watch this movie time and time again. That and Kathy Ireland.
Just like ‘Necessary Roughness’ I seldom pass this movie up when it is on TV. Despite its serious continuity issues, I just love the move. It entertains me. I am a sap for the underdogs.
I like this speech; it is short and to the point. It makes a great quote.
I love cheerleaders…
A mascot mule turns place kicker…. Disney gold ladies and gentleman, Disney gold! Plus the team is the California Atoms…
A look at professional football back when you could take off your helmet, fold it up and put it in your back pocket. It stars the ever charming George Clooney and follows him in 1925 as he tries to save the league from going under. I think this movie didn’t get a fair shake when it came out; for whatever reason. I recommend checking this one out.
I own this movie on VHS. I bought this movie the day it came out on VHS. I saw this movie on opening weekend. I have always liked this movie. I will always like this movie. You should like this movie too.
This is one of my favorites. It has a great cast, it was well written, acted and shot. The football in this movie was done very well. It really captured a feeling for big time high school football. It also gave the world the whip cream bikini, Billy Bob, and Pedro.
This is a well edited montage. Very well done. (NSFW – Language)
No football list would be complete without this film. It was beautiful on many levels. It is the benchmark for what determination, grit and desire is. It shows how much one can love a thing and through hard work you can achieve your dreams. If you don’t cry at some point during this movie you are dead inside or just a horrible person… maybe both.
This is such a great scene.
No better way to end the list than with this….
(Admit it… That made you tear up…)
Honorable mentions go to Everybody’s All-American, The Game Plan, The Slaughter Rule, Invincible, North Dallas Forty, Wildcats, Quarterback Princess, Brian’s Song, All the Right Moves, Friday Night Lights, The Last Boy Scout, We Are Marshall, The Best of Times, Remember the Titans, Lucas and Jerry Maguire.
There it is, for better or worse. That is my list of Football Movies.
Let me know…