Following several scandals in baseball, including labor strife and steroids, football has clearly become the most popular sport in America. Take a look back at the five greatest football movies ever made.
5. “Friday Night Lights” (2004)
“Friday Night Lights” was such a successful football movie that NBC created a television series of the same name. The movie is set in 1988 and chronicles the football season of Permian High School in Odessa, TX. Although there are slight differences, “Friday Night Lights” accurately documents the actual events that took place that season. In the movie, head coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton) comes under fire when star running back James Miles (Derek Luke) is injured in a lopsided game. Eventually, Permian falls in the state finals of the playoffs.
4. “We Are Marshall” (2006)
The tragedy that befell Marshall University in 1970 is retold in the football movie “We Are Marshall.” Returning home following a loss to East Carolina, Marshall’s plane crashes, killing virtually everyone associated with the university’s football program. New head coach Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) somehow assembles a team for the 1971 season from the previous team’s freshmen, walk-ons and athletes from other sports. Marshall wins their home opener against Xavier University, their only win of the season.
3. “Remember the Titans” (2000)
Another high school football movie, “Remember the Titans” portrays the struggles of a black head coach at a school that has just begun to accept black students. Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) encounters racism throughout the season. But his plight is helped when the previous head coach, Bill Yoast (Will Patton), agrees to stay on staff as defensive coordinator. Knowing that if he loses even one game he will be fired, Boone manages to go undefeated and eventually wins the state championship.
2. “Rudy” (1993)
One of the most inspirational movies of all-time, “Rudy” is the true story of a young man who achieves his life-long goal of playing football for Notre Dame. Daniel Ruettiger (Sean Astin) is a solid high school player, but is considered too small to receive a college scholarship. So Ruettiger enrolls at a junior college and gets a job until he is able to get admitted to Notre Dame. Ruettiger’s heart and work ethic earn him a spot on the team as a walk-on and at the end of his last game, he finally plays, sacking the quarterback.
1. “Brian’s Song” (1971)
The only football movie on the list about the NFL, “Brian’s Song” is a made for television film. “Brian’s Song” depicts the relationship between Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and his teammate Brian Piccolo (James Caan) who is dying of cancer. “Brian’s Song” is generally considered to be one of the greatest made for TV movies ever made. As such, it received a great deal of consideration at the 1972 Emmy Awards. According to imdb.com, “Brian’s Song” was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and won three.
“Brian’s Song,” imdb.com
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