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02.01.2013by: Alex Maidy

The Ten Spot: Best Football Movies (Video Edition!)

We are two weeks away from Super Bowl XLVII, I thought it would be the time to examine the best football movies ever made. You would be surprised how few there actually are. With the news that the NFL is going to be officially licensing movies with professional football teams, gone will be the days of movies with fictional leagues and teams. So, sit back with some hot wings and some beers and take a look at the big screen's gridiron greats. If your favorite didn't make the cut, feel free to include them in the talkbacks below.

HONORABLE MENTION - The Last Boy Scout

Since it focuses on gambling in sports and retired football players, THE LAST BOY SCOUT is not exactly a football movie, but I had to include it just for the classic opening scene of Billy Cole (Billy Blanks) running into the end zone while shooting a gun. Ah, Tony Scott, you will be missed.

#10 - North Dallas Forty

NORTH DALLAS FORTY is the NETWORK of sports movies. It is a satire of the NFL and their flagship franchise at the time, the Dallas Cowboys. Seeing Nick Nolte as a drug-addled star didn't seem like it was going to one day become a reality, but sometimes art does imitate life. Of all the football movies out there, NORTH DALLAS FORTY is one of the most critical of the professional football world and would likely suffer the wrath of the NFL if made today.

#9 - The Longest Yard

No, not the shitty Adam Sandler remake. The original version starring Burt Reynolds portrayed a fallen football star who is forced to play for a prison squad against the guards. The movie featured the classic Reynolds character: smart ass, mustachioed, and always ready to brawl. Many former NFL players made appearances as part of the Mean Machine. While the movie is very dated, it is still way better than the 2001 remake. Plus, nothing beats brutal tackles and violence in sports.

#8 - Varsity Blues

VARSITY BLUES is one of those late-90s MTV movies that is cut like a music video and falls under the weight of too many cliches: the brutal coach, the smart teen who doesn't want to play, the player using steroids, the father who cannot see his son's true passion, the cheerleader vs the brainy girl, and the jock who needs a ticket to college. But, director Brian Robbins pre-dated the much superior FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS by 5 years, telling a strikingly similar story. In the end, I will remember this movie for the whipped cream bikini and the well edited final football game.

#7 - Remember the Titans

Yes, another cliched sports movie that tugs at the heartstrings, but REMEMBER THE TITANS is a well-acted movie despite the glaring Oscar bait moments of racial harmony it strives to portray. Denzel Washington delivers his usually quality performance in a movie that shows the right way to make an emotionally driven movie, unlike crap films such as RADIO or THE BLIND SIDE. It also bothers me greatly that the hot Hayden Panettiere is a the little kid in the movie. Damn, I am old.

#6 - Friday Night Lights

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS will be remembered more for the NBC television series than Peter Berg's excellent movie. Billy Bob Thornton plays the role of Coach Gary Gaines in this fictional version of the best-selling non-fiction book. Berg streamlines the more political elements of the story in favor of an underdog story about the team itself. In the end, the football action is top notch and the acting is quite good. Is it as good as the book? No, but most movies rarely are.

#5 - Necessary Roughness

I love this movie as it brings back mamories of my childhood days watching R-rated movies my parents didn't know about. When I think back to my formative knowledge of sports, it has roots in NECESSARY ROUGHNESS and MAJOR LEAGUE. While MAJOR LEAGUE is the superior movie, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS will always be required viewing if only for the eternally sexy Kathy Ireland. Place kicking has never been so erotic.

#4 - The Replacements

Many of you will probably roll your eyes at this movie being so high on my list. But, THE REPLACEMENTS is another example of a fun sports movie that doesn't require a lot of attention. Seeing as it is shown on TBS eighty-five times a week, it is a movie I can drop into any time and just catch a few minutes of Rhys Ifans or Jon Favreau delivering a funny scene. Plus, Gene Hackman makes everything better. I also have a lasting crush on Brooke Langton from this movie.

#3 - Any Given Sunday

I have a love-hate relationship with ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Whether you like it or not, it is probably the most accurate movie to how the NFL actually is than any other film. While Oliver Stone does succumb to his own film tropes a little too often (projecting classic football imagery on the walls during scenes), he does do a good job of the actual sports scenes. Plus, Al Pacino delivers one of the all-time great movie speeches at the end of this flick.

#2 - Rudy

Many football fans will say the movie that makes them weep like little babies is BRIAN'S SONG. For me, it is RUDY. Before he was Samwise, Sean Astin portrayed the ultimate underdog in Rudy Ruettiger, who was an undersized college student whose only dream was to play for Notre Dame. His inspirational effort resulted in not the Hollywood ending where he is responsible for the victory for his team but rather a moment that had no impact on the final score, yet still resonates for him and everyone who witnessed it. It just goes to show that just because you don't play the main role, it doesn't mean you can't make a difference.

#1 - The Program

THE PROGRAM is not the best movie on this list, but it is the one I always think of when someone discusses movies and football. I remember seeing the trailer on TV with the deleted scene featuring the players laying on the road with cars zooming by their heads. It was of course removed when some dumbasses tried it in real life. I will always remember THE PROGRAM for the way it portrayed the corruption in the NCAA sports world and for James Caan as one of my favorite movie coaches. But, the biggest standout for me is Andrew Bryniarski as linebacker Steve Lattimer. The dude was just batshit crazy and I loved it. Check out the scene above and tell me you don't want to see THE PROGRAM.

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10:55AM on 02/22/2013

Sad to see that..

"We Are Marshall" was left off of the list. It's not the best football movie ever but it's deserving of a top ten spot.
"We Are Marshall" was left off of the list. It's not the best football movie ever but it's deserving of a top ten spot.
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+0
4:12AM on 02/03/2013
Easily #1.
Btw " Is it as good as the book? No, but most movies rarely are." Since when can one completely different medium be better than the other? Ooooh, right. You're not talking about the MOVIE but the screenplay.
Easily #1.
Btw " Is it as good as the book? No, but most movies rarely are." Since when can one completely different medium be better than the other? Ooooh, right. You're not talking about the MOVIE but the screenplay.
Your Reply:



+0
9:07PM on 02/02/2013
I hate you for making me cry.
I hate you for making me cry.
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3:30AM on 02/02/2013
Never really cared for Hiedi Klum & her voice sounds retarded but damn I like the camel toe!
Never really cared for Hiedi Klum & her voice sounds retarded but damn I like the camel toe!
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3:04AM on 02/02/2013
AWW hell no ya I would have preffered Little Giants over this garbage Even Varsity Blues did a much better job at portaying football. I could not finish watching this movie.
AWW hell no ya I would have preffered Little Giants over this garbage Even Varsity Blues did a much better job at portaying football. I could not finish watching this movie.
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3:03AM on 02/02/2013
Great movie & never get tired of watching it. Plus ya gotta love a fat Jon Favreau & Vince Vaughn in it.
Great movie & never get tired of watching it. Plus ya gotta love a fat Jon Favreau & Vince Vaughn in it.
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3:01AM on 02/02/2013
This movie is great & I am surprised it is not #1, it's Stone's better flicks & i understand the NFL did endorse it at first until they saw some of the footage.
This movie is great & I am surprised it is not #1, it's Stone's better flicks & i understand the NFL did endorse it at first until they saw some of the footage.
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2:59AM on 02/02/2013
Love this movie & deserves to be on this list. I think most don't like it cuz of Keanu Reeves, haters gonna hate. He is more believable as a football star than Sandler thats for sure.
Love this movie & deserves to be on this list. I think most don't like it cuz of Keanu Reeves, haters gonna hate. He is more believable as a football star than Sandler thats for sure.
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2:57AM on 02/02/2013
nice choice this movie is hilarious & jeez did I have a crush on Kathy Ireland. Some people forget Jason Bateman was also in this movie.
nice choice this movie is hilarious & jeez did I have a crush on Kathy Ireland. Some people forget Jason Bateman was also in this movie.
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2:55AM on 02/02/2013
I actually dig the Sandler remake. Me thinks it's become a cool thing to hate on Sandler now. Much like Bay, Ratner & McG
I actually dig the Sandler remake. Me thinks it's become a cool thing to hate on Sandler now. Much like Bay, Ratner & McG
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2:53AM on 02/02/2013
sorry I know it's not a full on sports movie but should be right up there. Much like The Fan is not a baseball movie but was still great, RIP Tony Scott
sorry I know it's not a full on sports movie but should be right up there. Much like The Fan is not a baseball movie but was still great, RIP Tony Scott
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+0
12:32AM on 02/02/2013

??????

at number 4?????????? how about number 15 instead? 4? is way to high for this flick
at number 4?????????? how about number 15 instead? 4? is way to high for this flick
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9:28PM on 02/01/2013

I like it too....

and I thought others didn't....Pleasantly surprised to see all this love....
and I thought others didn't....Pleasantly surprised to see all this love....
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8:06PM on 02/01/2013
Rudy may not be #1 on this list but it certainly has the best soundtrack. My heart soars whenever I hear it.
Rudy may not be #1 on this list but it certainly has the best soundtrack. My heart soars whenever I hear it.
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10:41AM on 01/27/2013
You had me worried.. I was like, "Where's The Program?".... Good movie, but I agree not the best on the list.
You had me worried.. I was like, "Where's The Program?".... Good movie, but I agree not the best on the list.
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10:28AM on 01/27/2013
Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!.... lol This flick takes me back.
Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!.... lol This flick takes me back.
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10:20AM on 01/27/2013
Great movie good message. My high school was part of this story. There are only 3 high schools in this city (not counting the district), TC William Titans and 2 others. My school was the one where the coach throws Denzel a banana ..... yeah not proud of that. Fortunately this historic event was before my time. But the movie did get it right, they went on to kick everyone's assess in the district that year. They went undefeated.
Great movie good message. My high school was part of this story. There are only 3 high schools in this city (not counting the district), TC William Titans and 2 others. My school was the one where the coach throws Denzel a banana ..... yeah not proud of that. Fortunately this historic event was before my time. But the movie did get it right, they went on to kick everyone's assess in the district that year. They went undefeated.
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11:48PM on 01/26/2013

steroids?

Where was the steroids in VB?
Where was the steroids in VB?
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11:07PM on 01/25/2013

Confused

Who was the steroid player? I only recall cortisone shots being adminstered. And this should be higher just for the whip cream bikini scene!!! Thank you Ali Larter
Who was the steroid player? I only recall cortisone shots being adminstered. And this should be higher just for the whip cream bikini scene!!! Thank you Ali Larter
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9:32PM on 01/25/2013
Brilliant film. Breathlessly entertaining from start to finish, and the opening scene was a heart-stopping way to kick things off.
Brilliant film. Breathlessly entertaining from start to finish, and the opening scene was a heart-stopping way to kick things off.
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8:23PM on 01/25/2013
No Little Giants?!?!?!
No Little Giants?!?!?!
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-3
4:49PM on 01/25/2013

Waterboy - WHY is there no Waterboy on this list?

Easily a top 2 film - why was it snubbed?
Easily a top 2 film - why was it snubbed?
Your Reply:



3:10PM on 01/25/2013
Steve Lattimer lol...Loved the skull face paint he wore
Steve Lattimer lol...Loved the skull face paint he wore
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3:08PM on 01/25/2013
Agreed....If you've played football (like myself, a long time ago.....sigh*), Any Given Sunday will send chills up your spine because it's literally the closest thing to actually being suited up and on a football field. Because of that , it's my favorite football movie.
Agreed....If you've played football (like myself, a long time ago.....sigh*), Any Given Sunday will send chills up your spine because it's literally the closest thing to actually being suited up and on a football field. Because of that , it's my favorite football movie.
Your Reply:



1:44PM on 01/25/2013

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is an almost perfect movie... Rudy is a close number 2
Remember the Titans is an almost perfect movie... Rudy is a close number 2
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12:58PM on 01/25/2013
Zero rolling of the eyes..in fact this might be higher on my list(people will roll eyes at that).
Zero rolling of the eyes..in fact this might be higher on my list(people will roll eyes at that).
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+2
12:22PM on 01/25/2013
Underrated movie!
Underrated movie!
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11:43AM on 01/25/2013
I agree with all of these movies. It's too bad this doesn't go to 11. Brian's Song would be there in a heartbeat.
I agree with all of these movies. It's too bad this doesn't go to 11. Brian's Song would be there in a heartbeat.
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11:25AM on 01/25/2013
Great list. I personally would have placed Friday NIght Lights ahead of the Replacements. Both really great football movies, but I always find the Replacements is too fictional of a take on professional sports. And Friday Night Lights is a great underdog story that really captures the essence of being built up as a football hero in a small town and having that pressure on you all the time, which is the point of the movie rather than the underdog plot. Other than that, great 10 Spot!
Great list. I personally would have placed Friday NIght Lights ahead of the Replacements. Both really great football movies, but I always find the Replacements is too fictional of a take on professional sports. And Friday Night Lights is a great underdog story that really captures the essence of being built up as a football hero in a small town and having that pressure on you all the time, which is the point of the movie rather than the underdog plot. Other than that, great 10 Spot!
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10:36AM on 01/25/2013
One of the all time greatest.
One of the all time greatest.
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10:32AM on 01/25/2013

Rudy...Rudy....Rudy...

Rudy man. That movie makes me weep every freakin time i see it.
Rudy man. That movie makes me weep every freakin time i see it.
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10:10AM on 01/25/2013

agree

My #1 as well, great pick
My #1 as well, great pick
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6:42AM on 01/25/2013
Personally I'd pick Rudy as No.1. Nevertheless, this is a great list.
Personally I'd pick Rudy as No.1. Nevertheless, this is a great list.
Your Reply:



6:42AM on 01/25/2013
Wait, this isn't at No.1? Still, Rudy is a great film.
Wait, this isn't at No.1? Still, Rudy is a great film.
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6:41AM on 01/25/2013
The final game is just epic.
The final game is just epic.
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6:41AM on 01/25/2013
Haha, I just love this movie.
Haha, I just love this movie.
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6:40AM on 01/25/2013
I love this movie!
I love this movie!
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6:39AM on 01/25/2013
One of the better high school football movies out there.
One of the better high school football movies out there.
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5:06AM on 01/25/2013
Great film. Wrote a paper about the speech at the end given by Pacino for college.
Great film. Wrote a paper about the speech at the end given by Pacino for college.
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5:05AM on 01/25/2013
So glad this made the list! One of my favorite movies ever. It's amazing and never ever gets old. Can always watch it and can have always have a huge goofy smile while doing so.
So glad this made the list! One of my favorite movies ever. It's amazing and never ever gets old. Can always watch it and can have always have a huge goofy smile while doing so.
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5:03AM on 01/25/2013
Another great film in general. Good selection for this list.
Another great film in general. Good selection for this list.
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5:02AM on 01/25/2013
Great film. It's a classic.
Great film. It's a classic.
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3:45AM on 01/25/2013

good list

Honorable mentions on my list:
Waterboy
Little Giants
Brians Song
We Are Marshall
Big Fan (more about the fans but good enough to be mentioned)
Blue Mountain State (yes its a TV show, but its so damn good)
Honorable mentions on my list:
Waterboy
Little Giants
Brians Song
We Are Marshall
Big Fan (more about the fans but good enough to be mentioned)
Blue Mountain State (yes its a TV show, but its so damn good)
Your Reply:



2:48AM on 01/25/2013
I actually really dig The Replacements. Such a fun film.
I actually really dig The Replacements. Such a fun film.
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8:02PM on 02/02/2013
Winner's always want the ball, when the game's on the line.
Winner's always want the ball, when the game's on the line.

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