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My Top 10 Favorite Football Movies

Movieby Joey Paur

As most of you know football season has begun, and everyone seems to be talking about football now.  Personally, I don’t find a lot of time to watch sports these days. It’s not really my thing, but I love watching movies about sports! I thought it would be appropriate to share with you my top ten favorite football movies in honor of football season. 

Now, I’m not saying these are the best football movies made, but then again some of them are. These are just ten of my favorite films that revolve around the sport football. Check out my list below, and then share with me your favorite football films in the rant back section below!

The Program

This is definitely one of the best football movies of all time. This movie has it all, including Kristy Swanson in her prime!

Coach Winters (James Caan) has some very talented football players who could win the season and allow him to keep his job, but their individual problems and weaknesses that could ruin the team. As long as they're winning, though, Coach is willing to overlook the steroid use, low academic scores and self-destructive behavior that are plaguing his team. Featuring Halle Berry, Omar Epps, Craig Sheffer and Kristy Swanson.

Friday Night Lights

I really enjoyed this movie when it came out, but to be honest I like the TV show a lot better.

A drama that chronicles the entire 1988 season of the Permian High Panthers of Odessa, Texas, with football players, coaches, mothers, fathers, pastors, boosters, fans and families struggling with ongoing personal conflicts while the team fights for a state championship. A town for sale, Odessa, Texas has seen better days--the financial bust evident in its boarded-up shops and broken lives. Yet one hope sustains the community where, once a week during the fall, the town and its dreams come alive beneath the dazzling and disorienting Friday night-lights. When the Permian High Panthers take to the field. In a city where economic uncertainty has eroded the spirit of its inhabitants, nearly everyone seeks comfort in the religion of the Friday night ritual, where the unfulfilled dreams of an entire community are shifted onto the shoulder pads of a team of high-school athletes.

Rudy

I love this movie! Whenever I see it playing on TV I can’t help but just change it to that station and watch it no matter where in the film it is at. It’s just such a fantastic and inspiring story that makes you want to go out in the world and succeed in living your dream. It’s also the first film we see Vince Vaugh and Jon Favreau in together.

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

Remember the Titans

Here’s the film where we were all introduced to a young Hayden Panettiere. This is such a wonderful film that teaches us some great life lessons, and it’s got some great humor as well. My kids love this film, and watch it all the time.

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Brian’s Song (1970)

This is a great movie to watch when you feel like a good cry. The movie is based on a true story, and damn it’s a downer, but in a good movie way! Just watch it if you haven't seen it yet. The film stars James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. 

Based on the real-life relationship between teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers and the bond established when Piccolo discovers that he is dying.

Jerry MaGuire

I actually just watched this film the other day, and was reminded how great this movie was! Director Cameron Crowe did a fantastic job with this movie, and everyone in it gave some of the best performances of their careers.  It was just one of those awesomely inspiring movies. But what the hell happen to Cuba Gooding Jr. after he won the Oscar for Best supporting actor!? His career should have gone up, not been flushed down the toilet. 

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him.

Necessary Roughness

Remember there was actually a time when Sinbad and Rob Schneider were actually funny? Scott Bakula could carry a movie, and Kathy Ireleand was still a sex-symbol. This isn’t the best movie in the world, but it was still fun to watch.

Aging former quarterback Paul Blake (Scott Bakula) registers at Texas State University hoping to realize his dream of playing college ball. But as luck would have it, the school's pigskin program just got hogtied for rules violations, and all the veterans were booted. Undeterred, Blake helps organize a scrappy squad of replacements -- including a distaff placekicker -- and, to everyone's shock, the team's fortunes begin to pick up.

Varsity Blues

This is the Can’t Hardly Wait of football movies.

In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the gridiron every Friday night. In his 35th year as head coach, Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight) is trying to lead his West Canaan Coyotes to their 23rd division title. When star quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) suffers an injury, the Coyotes are forced to regroup under the questionable leadership of John Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a second-string quarterback with a slightly irreverent approach to the game. "Varsity Blues" explores our obsession with sports and how teenage athletes respond to the extraordinary pressures places on them.

The Replacements

I know this is a silly movie, but you can’t deny its awesomeness. The movie also has a fun cast of actors that are great in this film including Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman in a straw hat, and Jon Favreau.

Success is often a matter of blind luck, and some deserving people, talented in their own right, never get a crack at it. Such has been the fate of Shane "Footsteps" Falco, once a hot All American prospect on the football field. Shane can only regret what's behind him, and can't even begin to imagine what's ahead. But Fate is not through with Shane. When League players decide to strike, leaving the prospect of empty fields (and equally empty stadiums) for team owners to contemplate, the Washington Sentinels scramble for a solution. When they bring contentious and self-retired head coach Jimmy McGinty back into the fold, McGinty seeks out players who will play with their hearts rather than their wallets. For the League, the situation is a disaster, but for Shane and a mismatched crew of outsiders, it's a second chance to grab at sports stardom. As they amaze everyone with their winning streak, the ragtag group discovers in itself the ability to hope for more than they ever thought possible, maybe even the playoffs, which has been denied to the Sentinels for seven years.

The Longest Yard (1974)

This movie was great! It was way better than the Adam Sandler remake in 2005. Burt Reynolds was just flat out awesomely cool in this film. This is a must watch for anyone that hasn't seen it yet. 

Director Robert Aldrich had a knack for depicting outsiders with originality and authenticity. Much like The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard is a popular fable about integrity and group unity. It possesses a requisite toughness along with the loneliness that accompanies the outsider status. Compromise is never easy in an Aldrich film. There's always a bitter price to pay. 

Burt Reynolds, in peak form, plays a former pro quarterback ostracized for shaving points. After beating up his girlfriend and resisting arrest, Reynolds winds up in prison, where he's taunted by warden Eddie Albert to help his semiprofessional team of guardsmen win a championship. Naturally, the inmates despise Reynolds, and naturally he redeems himself in one of the great movie football matches of all time.

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