The month of November marks two great American pastimes: Thanksgiving and football.
Although most people focus their efforts on searching for the last turkey leg or feigning interest in great-aunt Sally’s “Back in my time…” fables, we would like to offer you an alternative. DMG Entertainment offers six great football movies that will make you feel like a Super Bowl MVP, despite eating enough food to choke a small horse. So pop open that top button and embellish your high school football stories, here comes our all-star six:
Director: David Anspaugh
Starring: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau
Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) spent his entire life chasing after one dream: to play football for Notre Dame. Despite Rudy’s psychical and educational challenges, he ignored family and friends to achieve his dream. Throughout the film, Rudy works from the ground up and gives it his all to just once, walk onto the field as member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.
Inspiring Coaching Moment: “My job is to basically beat the s**t out of you for the next 5 days, and whoever is still standing at the end, maybe we’ll use for our scout teams. You’ll be running the opposition’s plays week in and week out. The greatest value to us is we don’t care whether you get hurt. Our first teams are going to pound on you like you’re their worst enemies. Like what you hear so far? Any of you wanna run home to momma? Now’s your chance. Joe, they’re all yours.”
Fun Fact: The real Rudy can be seen in the stands playing a fan at the end of the movie.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (1999)
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz
After a vicious tackle injures Miami Shark’s star quarterback Jack Rooney (Dennis Quad), backup quarterback Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx) takes to the field and gives a spectacular performance. Shark’s aging coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino), who is already dealing with numerous personal and professional pressures, must maintain control of the overnight star while steering the team towards victory.
Inspiring Coaching Moment II: “I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I’m gonna have any life any more it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that’s what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can’t make you do it. You’ve got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think ya going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him. That’s a team gentlemen, and either, we heal as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys, that’s all it is. Now what are you gonna do?
Fun Fact: In the film, Jack Rooney’s house is the actual house of famed Miami Dolphin’s quarterback Dan Marino.
REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000)
Director: Boaz Yakin
Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris
In a recently integrated 1970s Virginia high school, newly appointed football coach Herman Boone faces the challenge of coaching a team of racially mixed football players. Despite the team’s racial tension, Boone’s efforts prove to unite the team, ultimately transforming the football team into a symbol of unity for the divided community.
Inspiring Coach Moment III: “This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin’ with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe… I don’t know, maybe we’ll learn to play this game like men.”
Fun Fact: In one scene, a brick is thrown through Boone’s window. In real life, an old toilet was actually thrown through his window. Disney filmmakers decided against using a toilet since they believed it would be considered funny by audiences.
THE LONGEST YARD (2005)
Director: Peter Segal
Starring: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock
After disgraced quarterback Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) gets into a drunk driving accident, he becomes the newest inmate in Allenville State Penitentiary. Inside prison, warden Hazen (James Cromwell) assigns Crewe to assemble a group of convicts to play football against the prison’s guards. With the help of fellow inmates Caretaker (Chris Rock) and well-known football coach Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds), Crewe and his team of eccentric players prepare for the game of their lives.
Best Line: “I knew you couldn’t resist my s**t! I got the shakes that’ll make you quake. I got the fries that’ll cross your eyes. I got that burgers that’ll… I just got burgers.”
Fun Fact: Although Burt Reynolds, who starred as the convict QB in the ’74 original, was supposed to have a stunt double when Brian Bosworth tackles his character, Reynolds declined, stating, “I got one run left in me”. After the scene, Bosworth said, “Who else can say they got run over by Burt Reynolds?”
BRIAN’S SONG (1971)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Starring: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden
When Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) joins the Chicago Bears, he must compete against Brian Piccolo (James Caan) for the starting running back spot. Despite their rivalry, the two football players end up becoming close friends. However, when Piccolo becomes diagnosed with cancer, their friendship must face the harshest test.
Guaranteed to Make Men Cry Quote: “I’d like to tell you about a guy I know, a friend of mine. His name is Brian Piccolo. And he has the heart of a giant, and that rare form of courage that allows him to kid himself and his opponent, cancer. He has a mental attitude that makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the world ‘courage,’ 24 hours a day, every day of his life. Now you honor me by giving me this award. But I say to you here now Brian Piccolo is the man who deserves the George S. Halas award. It is mine tonight… and Brian Piccolo’s tomorrow.”
Fun Fact: In real life, James Caan was much more athletic than Billy Dee Williams. Caan was forced to slow down so Williams could outrun him.
VARSITY BLUES (1999)
Director: Brian Robbins
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker
In a small, football-crazed Texan town, discouraged backup quarterback Jonathan Moxon (James Van Der Beek) must bear the town’s excessive football expectations when star quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) gets injured. As popularity and pressure are thrust upon Moxon, he questions if he can handle the new-found responsibility.
Inspiring QB Quote: “Before this game started, Kilmer said “48 minutes for the next 48 years of your life”. I say “f*#k that”. All right? F*#k that. Let’s go out there, and we play the next 24 minutes for the next 24 minutes, and we leave it all out on the field. We have the rest of our lives to be mediocre, but we have the opportunity to play like gods for the next half of football.”
Fun Fact: Although Billy Bob is supposed to be 18, actor Ron Lester was actually 28 years old making him the oldest senior ever.
Want more hard-hitting films? Stay tuned to DMG Entertainment for the latest updates on POINT BREAK.