In preparation for Superbowl Sunday next week, I thought I would take a look at the best football movies I have seen.
Now, two caveats:
1. I have not seen that many football movies. There are some all-time classics like The Longest Yard and Friday Night Lights, which I haven't seen. So if your favorite is not on this list, it doesn't mean I don't like it. It probably means I haven't seen it.
2. I am not the biggest fan of football. I have only recently gotten into the game on a regular basis, but I still could not tell you the difference between a tailback and a running back. So if my choices are ones that are least indicative of the actual game of football, then you will know why.
With that said, here is my list. All you true-blue football fans can have fun taking this list apart.
5. Horse Feathers
As a comedy, this movie is the best one on this list. As a football movie, the Marx Brothers squeeze every ounce of comedy about a scam running around college football. My favorite part is when Groucho approaches the huddle as if to say something inspirational or serious and says, "Don't look now boys, but I think I see the chemistry professor in the stands with the janitor's wife."
4. Remember the Titans
The thing I really like about this movie is that it shows that if you bring people together for a common goal, they can overcome their differences. I also love Denzel's Washington's performance as Coach Boone explains why he is so hard on all of his players: "Now I may be a mean cuss. But I'm the same mean cuss with everybody out there on that football field. The world don't give a damn about how sensitive these kids are, especially the young black kids. You ain't doin' these kids a favor by patronizing them. You crippling them; You crippling them for life."
3. The Blind Side
This movie is less about football and more about the importance of love and family. It is a movie of wonderful performances and it is an excellent feel-good film, where Sandra Bullock earned her Oscar.
2. American Underdog
This one might be higher on my list because it still fresh in my mind. But I love how Kurt Warner loves the game of football and uses all of that love and passion to make a better life for his family. Football becomes his gladiator arena where he proves himself as a man in battle, in a true testament to never giving up.
What makes Rudy such an all-time classic is not that the main character grows into a star player like Kurt Warner. It isn't even that Rudy makes a significant impact on the one game he plays. Instead, this is a movie about all of the people that Rudy impacts on his journey. He makes all of them better people as he strives to his dream. In that, he creates a community of friends as they all do their best to reach that excellence that we all know is inside us. Not all of us will be the biggest and the strongest. But all of us are capable of giving it our all, like Rudy.