Six Great Football Movies

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
November 24th, 2013

Six Great Football Movies

If you are a fan of the gridiron, you know how entertaining it is to spend an afternoon watching your favorite team. When you aren't at the field, one of the many football-themed movies can satisfy your appetite before the next big game. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth seeing, but you are sure to find something for everyone.

Released in 2000, "Remember the Titans" is a true story about a predominantly white high school and a predominantly black school that are both shut down and forced to integrate into one. The two schools had been segregated for many generations, and parents and students alike were forced to deal with the change. Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) was the new coach who was hired to lead the team to victory. Not only were the white players placed in a situation in which they had to play with black players, they had to learn to take direct orders from the black coach. At first, the players swear they will quit or sit out every game unless the assistant coach (Will Patton) coaches them. Over the course of the film, however, the boys learn to put their differences aside and depend on one another in order to win games. The result is a film that teaches that tolerance and teamwork are the keys to success.

"The Blind Side" was released in 2009 and stars Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy, and Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher. This film is also based on the true story of one family that decided to take in a homeless kid they found walking the streets. Leigh Anne invited him to spend the night, and he ended up staying for good. The Tuohys are a well-known family in their community in Memphis, Tennessee. They are also huge Ole' Miss fans. Used to getting what she wants, Leigh Anne eventually enrolls Michael in the same private Christian school her children attend, gives him a home, and helps him get into the college of his choice, which turns out to be Ole' Miss. The movie follows the heartache and the twists and turns that are involved when this family tries to do the right thing. It provides an emotional roller coaster that has a heartwarming ending.

"We Are Marshall" is yet another football film based on a true story. Released in 2006, the film follows the lives of those affected by the plane crash that took nearly the entire football team of Marshall University in 1970. After the crash, the college assigns a new coach (Matthew McConaughey), and he and the surviving members of the team work together to reestablish the football program. Left with freshman players, the student body first must convince the board of governors to allow freshman to play in football games. The coach takes the on a job that no one else wants, and together, he and the team prove that miracles can arise from ashes.

When the 1987 professional football players' strike occurs, Coach McGinty (Gene Hackman) is called on to coach a team of replacements to finish out the remainder of the season. The new team includes a deaf player, one who is out on a work-release program, and a variety of other misfits. "The Replacements" is a 2000 comedic film about a team that works together to beat the odds and goes on to win games.

The original version of "The Longest Yard" was released in 1974 and starred Burt Reynolds as former pro quarterback Paul Crewe. In 2005, a remake was made starring Adam Sandler as Crewe. In the film, Crewe organizes a prison inmate team, and they set out to beat the prison guards in a game of pride and guts. Crewe trains his team and prepares them for the big game, and the guards have no idea what they are up against. Even though Crewe doesn't really expect to win against the guards, he knows that they have nothing to lose but self-respect. This fast-paced comedy will have you laughing all the way to the end.

Before the popular television show, "Friday Night Lights" began as a brilliant movie based around the competitiveness of high-school football. Released in 2004, the film follows the success and challenges of the Permian High School Panthers as they head toward the state championship. The small, economically depressed town uses football as an escape and a way to be known in other communities. Friday night games are their biggest source of pride. The players know they must have a perfect record and win the state championship, because the rest of their lives depend on it.

Long after football season has ended, a wealth of great football movies will help keep the dream alive. From comedies to dramatic true stories, each one of these films helps showcase the depth and emotion of the game.