The nacho bowl is filled, your Super Bowl pool carefully filled out, and you’ve dragged out your dusty Joe Montana uniform, but what’s next? Instead of watching the 56 hours of pre-game analysis, pop open your DVD player and kick up the excitement with a collection of football movies.
Whether you want to laugh, cry, be inspired, or introduce the kids to the game there are plenty of football-themed movies to watch. Sure, those NFL Follies are great, but the following collection of movies showcases the drama and excitement that comes from the game; a great precursor to Super Bowl Sunday.
Zero to Hero Football Movies
Instead of working through college football, entering the NFL draft, participating through the grueling training camp, and finally getting an NFL contract, the following two movies feature ordinary citizens that turns their lives around with an instant career in the NFL.
The first is the Disney Channel hit entitled “The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon.” Just when you thought Tony Danza reached his physical peak in “Angels in the Outfield,” he returns as an ordinary garbage man who strengthens his leg after years of kicking the lever on his garbage truck. Like “Rookie of the Year” with legs, the movie provides several family laughs and a typical happy ending (unless you hate the Philadelphia Eagles).
Even though the Eagles cannot manage miracle wins in the post-season, they seem to get the majority of “zero to hero” films. In add year, Mark Wahlberg starred as Vince Papale in “Invincible.” Based off a true story, the movie follows Papale as he gets encouraged by family and friends to try out from the Eagles. He proves that hard work pays off when he joins the team and plays for them for three years. Wahlberg shines in a role that shows anything is possible in the NFL.
Inspirational Football Movies
4th quarter comebacks, players rising to the occasion, and classic Super Bowl matches are what makes the Super Bowl so special. Few movies can capture the full emotion that comes from a football game and the players in it, but the following have.
The college football classic “Rudy” stars Sean Astin as Daniel E. Ruettiger, a Notre Dame student who is determined to play on the football team. Throughout the film, Rudy is constantly put down and struggles to achieve his goal. The film showcases the ultimate determination that all builds to the touching climax. This is a must-see for any football fan.
Younger crowds may bore at the slow pace of “Rudy,” but can find plenty of inspiration in either “Friday Night Lights” or “Varsity Blues.” Both movies follow the competitive high school football scene where players go through the struggle of growing up as well the reputation of their football team. “Friday Night Lights” takes itself more seriously with great roles from both Billy Bob Thorton and Tim McGraw. “Varsity Blues” is more of a fun ride, but the second half brings a more serious tone and MTV-approved soundtrack that keeps the movie pumping along.
Children’s Football Movies
If you wonder how David Tyree made that famous catch during Super Bowl XLII than look no further to the children’s football sequel “Angels in the Endzone.” Christopher Llyod returns as the head angel and looks to rejuvenate a losing high school football team.
Simple family fun continues in another sports sequel entitled “Air Bud 2: Golden Receiver.” After realizing that Bud can shoot basketballs, his owner tries him out on the football field and believe or not but that pup can catch! It’s hard to picture a dog actually getting tackled in the NFL, but the filmmakers provide several laughs and simple kidnapping plot that will keep children intrigued.
The Giants-Cowboys rivalry was taken to new heights in the pee-wee themed film “Little Giants.” Starring Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill as feuding brothers, this is not only a classic football movie, but one of the best children’s films from the 1990s. The comedy is great, the football action is slapstick fun, and the movie features cameos from several NFL stars and John Madden himself.
Comedy Football Movies
Instead of worrying about if your favorite team will lose the Super Bowl, sit back and laugh with a couple football-themed comedies.
In conjunction with the potential 2011 NFL Lockout, “The Replacements” features Keanu Reeves as a quarterback who must fill-in when the real team goes on strike. The large ensemble cast features a lot of comedy, predictable plots, but still delivers in the end.
Adam Sandler provided a lot of football laughs in “The Waterboy,” but his remake of “The Longest Yard” provides more football, more comedy, and does justice to the original. Sandler plays a star quarterback who is sent to jail. While there, the warden sets up an inmate versus guard game that becomes a media sensation. With pro wrestlers like Bill Goldberg, real NFL athletes like Michael Irving, and comedians like Chris Rock, this is the perfect blend of comedy, action, and drama. The movie builds up to the big game ending and does not disappoint.
All of the football movies listed above are available on DVD from various retailers.
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