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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Best Football Games


I love to watch football.  But there are some games that are always going to be better than others.  The greatest games for me have been in the movies.  I love movies, too.  So adding football to movies makes things doubly fun! Saying that, I thought I would go over a few of my favorite football movies.
The Longest Yard staring Burt Reynolds.  This one is about an ex professional quarterback who was banned from the game for shaving points.  He ends up in prison after he steals his girlfriend's car, gets drunk, and assaults a couple of oops in a bar.  The prison warden pushes him into forming a team of convicts to play the prison guard's football team.  This one was brilliantly written and by the end, you're really rooting for the cons even though they're a bunch of dirty, murdering, raping, scumbag convicts. 
There was a remake of this movie in 2005, but it wasn't nearly as good.  Actually, it was pretty bad.  Bad enough so that I won't even show any pictures of the remake.  Watch the original, you won't regret it!
Heaven Can Wait may not look like a football movie, but it is.  It's about a quarterback (again *chuckle*) who is riding his bike and is pulled out of life by an angel who thinks he's about to be hit by a bus and die.  But the quarterback wasn't really supposed to die and the angel had jumped the gun.  The quarterback convinces heaven to send him back to earth so he can have a great season and win the Superbowl.  Unfortunately his body has been cremated.  *chuckle*  Instead, he's put into the body of a rich industrialist.  The industrialist has a wife and assistant who are trying to murder him.  It all sounds complicated, and in some ways it is, but it's still a great football movie even without having that much football in it. 
This one stars Warren Beatty.  The movie is for the most part a comedy and does have a few really funny moments.  More focused on the characters than football, it's still a great flick!  If you haven't seen it, find it!  Another all time great movie!
M.A.S.H is more of a war time doctor movie.  It takes place during the Korean war and is about a bunch of army doctors who patch up wounded soldiers brought to them directly from the battlefield.  What does this have to do with football?  Well, near the end of the movie there is a football game between the doctors and a team put together by a crazy general.  The game has a few classic football scenes.
Yes there was a TV series adapted from the movie and it ran for years and years and was pretty good.  But if you haven't seen the movie, you're missing out!  The football game has some of the best lines ever written, for example:
"What the hell's the matter with you?  We're here to play football, not fight!"
"Bastard 88 called me a coon!"
"That's an old pro trick to get you thrown out of the ballgame.  Why don't you do the same to him?"
"What, call him a coon?"
The Replacements staring Keanu Reeves as quarterback Shane Falco.  This is another comedy about a bunch of no name players brought in to play a couple of professional football games when the real players go on strike.  There actually was a pro football strike here in America back in 1987.  To be honest, I was in the Air Force during 1987 and was overseas so I can't remember seeing any of the replacement player games.  Getting back on track, this movie is about players who end up playing while the real players strike.  While fictional, it's actually a really good comedy!

At the end of the movie the strike is over and all the replacement players lose their jobs.  You knew this was coming, but for the few games they play in the movie, the replacements leave quite an impression.  One of my favorite movies!
Wildcats stars Goldie Hawn as a high school football coach.  No one wants to let her coach, but she finally finds an opportunity at a school in the bad part of town.  Being one of those inspirational type movies, Goldie starts out with a bunch of apathetic players who don't really care about the game.  But she soon whips them into shape and at the end they play the rich, prestigious, nearby high school.  Another comedy, but still a good movie.
This movie had some up and coming Hollywood talent.  Some of the young stars include Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, and Jan Hooks.  A cute movie with some funny moments.  Not the most serious thing, but still a good flick.
Rudy  Ah, now we get into the football movies that were based on real life stories!  Rudy Ruettiger had always wanted to play football for Notre Dame University and was a rabid Notre Dame fan.  After his best friend dies in an industrial accident, he decides it's time to make that dream come true.  He takes what little savings he has and heads out for the university where he finds out it's not quite as easy as he thinks to just show up and join a team.  After four years of trying, he finally makes the team, but doesn't see any playing time.
In the movie, Rudy is played by actor Sean Astin who also played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies.  A hobbit playing football?  *chuckle*  Sean is in my opinion quite a bit better looking than the real life Rudy Ruettiger.  But then you always use a better looking guy for a movie, don't you?
There's the real Rudy.  I think he needs a haircut.  *chuckle*  The movie is one of those really deep inspirational things about how a guy had a dream and went out to achieve it no matter what obstacles he had to overcome.  Good flick more about Rudy than football, but still great.
Invincible  Finally, we have a movie about a guy who loved the Philadelphia Eagles.  The team ends up having "open tryouts" because they're lacking a bit of talent and find out there isn't much real talent that shows up for the tryouts!  Well, except for Vince Papale played by Mark Wahlberg.  Vince is fast and fairly good.  He's invited to training camp and struggles to make the team.  Finally, after making the cut, Vince comes into his own and helps bring the Eagles to greatness!  Another inspirational movie about a real guy. 
Here's Mark Wahlberg pretending to be Vince, and...'s the real Vince.  Just a bit of difference, huh  Based on a true story.  So how much was real and how much was Hollywood magic?  Who knows, but it still make for a good movie about a struggling guy trying to achieve his dreams.
So there you have it, my favorite football movies!  Let me know if you think I've left any out.  Some of the other movies like The Program or Any Given Sunday were ok, but they weren't my favorites.  I can take or leave them.  Everyone has their own opinions, though.  Let me know what you think and what you're favorite football movies are!


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