“NFL–No Season Yet–Lots of Movies”
The lockdown continues across our country and that means more time watching movies.
Last week I walked you thru the Baseball Movie Vault. Today, a look at what football has brought to the movie screen, with my final four included at the top of the list.
1)..REMEMBER THE TITANS…Denzel Washington’s emotional coaching job in Arlington, Virginia in the beginning of high school integration…bringing a broken community and a team together…the famous quote enroute to an undefeated season against racist coaches…”You make them remember the day they played the Titans.”
2)..THE BLIND SIDE…True story of Michael Oher’s rise from homelessness-poverty to becoming an honor student at Ole Miss and a lot round pick of the Baltimore Ravens…A great cross section of storylines about the inner city, the elite rich of Memphis, racism, the NCAA. Great acting by Sandra Bullock from start to finish made this movie a rage.
3)..FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS…Billy Bob Thornton stars as a possessed high school football coach in the possessed state of Texas, with people possessed by winning. How good was it? From book, the movie, to TV series…that still endures.
4)..BRIAN’S SONG…The story of RB-Brian Picollo’s fight against leukemia and the friendship shown by Gayle Sayers in the Chicago Bears camp…Well done for a 1970s equal to Love Story.
5)..WE ARE MARSHALL…I am biased because I covered the plane crash story that wiped out the Marshall football team in West Virginia…Matthew McGonaughey’s tremendous acting weaves the story of the fabric of the Huntington, West Virginia town, it loss, it’s rebirth. I cried the first time I watched it.
6)..DRAFT DAY…Had to be another sports movie with Kevin Costner in it-leading the dysfunctional Cleveland Browns to glory on the day of the NFL draft.
7)..JERRY MC GUIRE….”Show Me the Money”….great acting…great fiction…but lots of fun.
8)..RUDY…For the subway alums of the Fighting Irish, a story for a lifetime about a college walk-on who makes the Notre Dame team against every odd possible.
9)..ALL THE RIGHT MOVES…Tom Cruise debut in a sports movie as the young Western Pennsylvania recruit who does not want a life in the steel mills. Made me feel like I was back in Aliquippa.
10)..NORTH DALLAS 40….Makes the list because it was one of the first to take an internal look at franchises, coaches, teams, personalities and the people of pro football.
LONGEST YARD…Pick either the Burt Reynolds original or the Adam Sander comedy followup.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY…Al Pacino’s portrayal of a fading coach, his family, politics, players and the big game.
REPLACEMENTS…Gene Hackman was a better coach-actor in ‘Hoosiers’ but his conflicts with Keanu Reeves made good theatre.
KNUTE ROCKNE…From the black and white era, Ronald Reagan, ‘Win one for the Gipper’.
IRON MAJOR…The true story of Coach Frank Cavanaugh, World War I veteran coming home to coach Boston College after being wounded in the Great War. Pat O’Brien superb acting job in the 1940s.
LEATHERHEADS….What football used to look like in the 1920’s. Quite a combo acting job George Clooney-Renee Zellwegger.
THE EXPRESS…It was the Ernie Davis story of life at Syracuse University and his derailed career with the Cleveland Browns. Movie had potential but was flimsy on content and legitimacy.
THE WATERBOY…If you like Adam Sandler, then you will like this.
VARSITY BLUES…Again, it’s about all things Texas high school football and you know that is important everywhere in the Lone Star State. Players-vs-overwhelming coach.
BLACK SUNDAY….A terrorist threat at a Super Bowl Sunday game…Likely the NFL’s worst ever fears in what global terrorism has turned into.
Pick one, you’ll like them all. You have time to watch them right now too.