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Football & Cinema: Recipe for awesome

October 2, 2008

In honor of the greatest and best sports season of the year, I present the best movies about football. If you want to see me cry, put on an inspirational football movie featuring underdogs triumphing against adversity. Well that or Homeward Bound.

Top Football Movies

7. We Are Marshall

I just got around to see this movie this past weekend, and I was a blubbering mess. Of course you have to assume it’s going to be a tearjerker when the entire team dies.  What’s worse is that this is a true story.  It ended up being a good movie despite the fact that Matthew McConaughey gets increasingly annoying with every movie of his that I see. Matthew Fox plays the assistant coach. You know what’s interesting about Matthew Fox? Nothing! Haha.

6. The Replacements

By all cinematic standards, this was not an example of fine movie making, but I enjoyed it anyway. Not only does it have that guy from the 7Up commercials, but Pam’s jerky ex-fiancé Roy plays a deaf guy. And Keanu is a quarterback!

5. Invincible

Another True Story, Invincible is about Vince Papale, a bartender who went out for the Philadelphia Eagles and made the team at the age of 30.  Elizabeth Banks, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses (can’t wait to see her as Laura Bush in W) plays the love interest, and Mark Wahlberg, my favorite former rapper/current actor who doesn’t like to be reminded of his former rapper days plays Papale.  Not only is this a great story about a guy who beat the odds, but it inspired an awesome episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in which the guys try out for the Eagles, as fans demand they hold tryouts every year due to the popularity of the movie Invincible.

4. Friday Night Lights

I went to every single home game that our high school football team played, not so much because I wanted to but because I was in the marching band and it was mandatory. I’m not gonna pretend we didn’t suck, but I still remember good times in the stands. Except for the times where we froze our asses off on the metal bleachers. Or I got stuck sitting by the unfunny people in the sax section. But still, I’ll hear the drum line at UCLA practicing sometimes and I get a little nostalgic. Anyway, high school football in Texas is on a whole nother level. FNL was sort of intense.

3. Little Giants

I don’t know if I could even pin down my favorite thing about this movie. There’s Ed O’Neill who plays the a-hole coach, Rick Moranis as the clueless Dad who gets talked into coaching, the girl who kicks the boys asses at football, or Devon Sawa back in the days when people still knew who Devon Sawa was. Not to mention the moment when Madden shows up on his bus and teaches the misfits a few things out of the playbook.

2. Remember the Titans

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this movie. Quite a few times. Every once in a while during the tennis season coach would let us watch Remember the Titans and order us pizza for practice on Saturdays. Something about improving team morale, I’m sure. And he never rotated movies…it was always Remember the Titans. I love Ryan Gosling as the country-loving guy.

1. Rudy

Speaking of high school teachers who never rotated movie selections, I probably saw this one in marketing class about 4 times.  And several times before that. Rudy is I think, the ultimate underdog movie.  Not only was he too small to play football, he was too dumb to get into Notre Dame. But he never gave up the dream, and the coach finally put him in the final minutes of his last eligible game.  I dare you not to get a little teary eyed when his teammates carry him off the field. Here, do it right now:

I can’t do it!

Today the real Rudy is a motivational speaker and makes bank for appearances. My Name is Earl did a good spoof of it in an episode. Plus, whenever you see Sean Astin in anything else you can chant Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! at the screen.

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