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Top 10 Football Movies EVER!

Updated: Jun 16

by Wayne G: Patriots Endzone

The NFL Draft is now long over, voluntary minicamps have passed, and we are inching closer and closer to the 2023 NFL kickoff. So, what is a die hard football fan to do (other than get tingly inside every time the sports news channels show a guy in shorts throwing a football to an uncovered guy, also in shorts? Well, we should be watching football movies, of course. Which ones are the best ones though? The last thing any of us want to do is waste 2 hours of our lives watching a junk football movie. Life goes by quick, and I want to spend mine watching only high quality football films. And other stuff. This blog is to help you sort through all the noise, so you don't have to take your friends advice, who told you The Breakup is a masterpiece.

Crap, Crap, Mega Crap

The following films had no chance of making the top 10. Some people think these movies are good, or at the very least, not bad, but those people are wrong. These movies stink, and we are giving them way too much props, just by putting them in this article.

The Game Plan (2007)

The Longest Yard (2005)

Leatherheads (2008)

The Garbage Picking, Field Goal Kicking, Philadelphia Phenomenon (1998)

Draft Day (2014)

Good, But Not Great

These films aren't worth disregarding altogether. In fact, they are rather enjoyable. Not quite top 10 good, but not mega crap either.

The Replacements (2000)

The Waterboy (1998)

American Underdog (2021)

All The Right Moves (1983)

The Gridiron Gang (2006)

We Are Marshall (2006)

The Best of Times (1986)

Friday Night Lights (2004)

Wildcats (1985)

Great Movies (But Not Football Movies)

Just like Die Hard is not actually a Christmas movie, even though it has Christmas elements sprinkled throughout the film, these movies have football sprinkled throughout them, but they are not actually football movies. The are great movies though, so definitely check them out.

Jerry Maguire (1996) School Ties (1992)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Everybody's All-American (1998)

The Top 10

You may have a different top 10, or maybe you have the exact same one as me. Either way, make sure to comment below or reach on on twitter @PatriotsEZ. Without further ado, here is my list of the best football movies ever made.

10. Little Giants (1994)

Rick Moranis, Ed O'Neil

The small rural town of Urbana, OH is not big enough for two football teams. The Cowboys are coached by the hometown hero, and Heisman winning college football star, Kevin O'shea (O'Neil). Kevin doesn't pick every kid for the team, and even leaves off his niece Becky, aka Icebox, who is the best player on the field during tryouts.

His brother Danny (Moranis), tired of living his life in Kevin's shadow, decides to start a team that anyone can play who wants to, calling them the Giants, and the film culminates with a battle to the death. C'mon, this is a kids film. The two teams play each other, with the winner getting to be the only team in town.

Based on the logos, uniforms, and guest appearances (who doesn't love John Madden?), it's obvious this film was approved by and even licensed by the NFL. It doesn't have the charm or nostalgia of The Sandlot, but it is probably the best kids football movie out there.

9. The Longest Yard (1974)

Burt Reynolds

Paul Crewe (Reynolds) is a former pro quarterback, and NFL star, but his desire to live life on the edge lands him in a high speed chase, and ultimately behind bars. Luckily, or unluckily, the warden is a huge football fan who manages a semi-pro team, consisting of the prison guards.

After much pressure is applied, Crewe agrees to put together a team of inmates to play in an exhibition game against the guards.

It's a movie that has had a British remake (Mean Machine), and a dreadful American Remake, starring Adam Sandler (which Reynolds plays a small role in).

It's sort of an underdog story, and is one of those films that gets you to root for prisoners. It feels like the era it was made in, but it was the golden era of Burt Reynolds, and that alone makes it a must-see movie.

8. Necessary Roughness (1991)

Scott Bakula, Robert Loggia, Hector Elizondo, Jason Bateman, Sinbad

After winning a national championship, the Texas State Fighting Armadillos, are stripped of scholarships, and banned from bowl games after widespread corruption within the team is revealed. Ed "Straight Arrow" Genero (Elizondo) is hired to coach a team of walk-ons.

He brings along his best friend Wally (Loggia) to coach the defense, and not surprisingly this inexperience group of college players shows they may not be fit to play football. They are so desperate after the football-hating Dean (played by comedian Larry Miller) cuts the roster down with ticky-tack infringements, the decide to have their players play both offense and defense. They recruit a 40-something, former high school quarterback, and a defensive end who is actually a teacher at the University.

It's a fun movies, with a good deal of laughs. Has a bit of a Major League (1989) feel to the film. If you ignore the abundance of cliché, it's a very enjoyable film.

7. Varsity Blues (1999)

James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Scott Caan, Paul Walker, Amy Smart, Ali Larter

In Texas, high school football is king. Stadiums sell out, and towns close down on Friday nights to watch the local high school team, making the events bigger than some NFL events (sorry Raiders fans). West Canaan star quarterback Lance Harbour (Walker) wrecks his knee, and longtime friend and bench warmer, Jonathan Moxon (Van Der Beek) steps in to the spotlight.

Will he do things his own way, instead of his legendary coachers way? Will he get sucked into the pageantry of it all, or stay grounded? Will he live up to his fathers expectations? It's a tale of friendship, self-discovery, but mostly, of high school popularity on steroids. The football scenes are great, the story is OK. It's kind of like the first episode of Friday Night Lights, but stretched into two hours.

6. Brian's Song (1971)

James Caan, Billy Dee Williams

Based on the real life events of Chicago Bears running backs Gales Sayers and Brian Piccolo. The two become friends in the face of racism, and help each other through injury, until Piccolo (Caan) is diagnosed with cancer.

Some battles are too big for any of us to overcome, but not even cancer can kill a beautiful friendship. Before Field of Dreams made men every cry, this was the movie that had even the toughest of us sobbing.

It may not be something you watch over and over, just because of the sad ending, but then again, maybe it's constantly on repeat for you. It almost fits into the "not a football movie" category, even though its centered around real life NFL players. That's because the story is so much bigger than the game.

5. Any Given Sunday (1999)

Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, LL Cool J, James Woods, Matthew Modine, John C McGinley

In a world where the NFL actually has a competitive nemesis, this film centers on the Miami Sharks. When the starting quarterback, veteran Cap Rooney (Quaid) gets hurt, and then his back-up gets injured the next play, third string player Willie Beamon (Foxx) takes over, and not everyone loves the way he does his thing.

The characters have to come together or lose it all. As head coach Tony D'Amato (Pacino) says in his big speech, "We either heal now as a team, or we will die as individuals."

Some people will thin k this is too low on the list, because the football scenes were so incredibly well done. I, however, think that as great a director as Oliver Stone is, he misses a few tackles here, and shows he really doesn't know the game very well. It's gratuitous and obviously over-the-top at times, but there are some great performances in this star studded cast. It's fun, and very intense.

4. The Blind Side (2009)

Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quentin Aaron

Based on a true story, Michael Oher (Aaron) is a struggling, homeless student at a prominent prep school, who is walking home in the rain one day after a volleyball match he was at. Leigh Ann Tuohy (Bullock) and her husband Sean (McGraw) offer him a ride, and a place to sleep for the night.

It becomes a permanent place to stay, as Michael becomes an adopted son for the Tuohy's, as he pursues a college career, by way of football.

It's about family, fitting in, and the kindness we all have in us, but choose to ignore. It really is a heart warming film, and could be watched over and over, without ever losing interest in the story of the characters.

3. Remember The Titans (2000)

Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Ryan Gosling

Yet another film based on a true story, now it's Disney's turn to make the list. With segregation ending, the black, and white schools are merged together in the town of Alexandria, VA. The new school is called TC Williams, and their football team is the Titans.

Long time coach Bill Yoast (Patton) is replaced by Herman Boone (Washington), who was initially hired to coach the black school.

Racial tensions exist throughout the film, as the team, and town learn to live together in harmony, the best they can. It is Coach Boone's demand that the team be perfect in every way, and they attempt to do so, chasing the Virginia state championship.

It's an inspiring story, with some great speeches, and great moments we can all still learn from today.

2. Rudy (1993)

Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn

True stories really do make for the best movies. Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger (Astin) dreams of playing football for Notre Dame. He is not a very good student, and not a very talented football player (though he does work hard on the field). He ends up working with his father and brothers in the local steel mill. When his best friend is killed in an accident, he decides he has to try to achieve his dream.

He starts of at Holy Cross, trying to make grades to get accepted to Notre Dame, and then has to try and make "the best football team in the land, with hardly a speck of athletic ability."

It's a great story, about following your dreams, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them, no matter what.

1. The Program

James Caan, Omar Epps, Halle Berry, Joey Lauren Adams

The fictional school of ESU has failed to reach a bowl game, and need to kick it into high gear if they are going to make it the following year. Head Coach Sam Winters (Caan) recruits a breakaway running back in Darnell Jefferson (Epps) to pair with his Heisman favorite quarterback, Joe Kane.

The team endures ups and downs, with some of the drama glorified (though not to the extent of Any Given Sunday, because they didn't have the same budget).

Can they overcome it all, to finally make it to a bowl game?

The film, when initially released in theaters had a scene with the players laying in the middle of a busy street to show they have no fear, but then a bunch of kids copied that, and got run over, so it was pulled from the VHS (those are old DVD's for you young kids). The story, along with the great scenes of football make this the best football movie ever. Favorite performances are turned in by Duane Davis as Alvin Mack (he is also in Necessary roughness, and the dad of NFL lineman Wyatt Davis), and by Andrew Bryniarski as Lattimer (also in Necessary Roughness and Any Given Sunday). "Starting Defense! Place at the table!" Check it out.

Wayne G is the host of Patriots Endzone on Youtube. You can find the channel HERE. You can also follow on Twitter @PatriotsEZ.

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