I have a confession: Football is not my first love. I’ve had a life long love affair with movies. Some of my favorite movies actually featured former gridiron greats: Fred Hammer Williamson, Jim Brown, OJ Simpson (sorry, but those Naked Gun movies were HILARIOUS). I thought I would use this platform to highlight my all time favorite football movies. Here are my top 5 faves. Let’s go to the movies:
5. Varsity Blues – A great movie about the fictitious, but believable West Canaan Coyotes. In this small Texas town, high school football was supreme and players were treated like gods. Jon Voight was fantastic as the sadistic coach who would stop at nothing to get one more district championship.
4. The Program – College football players from different backgrounds working hard to make it to a major bowl game in a big time college football program. I loved Omar Epps as hot-shot freshman running back Darnell Jefferson who tried to adjust on and off the field. James Caan was also great as Coach Winters, who would do anything to protect his players and the program.
3. Friday Night Lights – Billy Bob Thornton was awesome as Coach Gary Gaines in this flick based on the book by Buzz Bissinger about a racially and economically divided Texas town that came together every Friday night to cheer on the Permian Panthers. Who can forget the heroics of the team especially after the career ending injury of star player Boobie Miles brilliantly played by Derek Luke.
2. Any Given Sunday – A lot of people have low regard for this movie, but I loved it! Action-packed, great actors, up-close on the field action with an actual eye-popping scene that I will never forget. Pacino is one of my favorite actors and his role as Coach Tony D’Amato is one of his best characters. I also loved the character Willie Beamen played by Jamie Foxx. Definitely one his best roles. It’s funny that Oliver Stone actually considered P Diddy for that role. I don’t see it. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was the fight scene between Beamen and Washington (LL Cool J). Rumor has it that the fight got so serious, Jamie Foxx took out a restraining order. Crazy!
1. Remember the Titans – The true story of a racially integrated high school football team in its first year at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA, led by newly appointed African-American Coach Herman Boone played by Denzel Washington. This movie was not only entertaining but also a history lesson, seeing how it took place minutes away from my Washington, DC neighborhood. I had no idea that these events had even taken place during my lifetime so close to my home. It was both inspiring and educational. One of my all time favorite movies.
What football movies do you love? If you haven’t seen any of my top 5, check them out. Watching a good movie is a great way to pass the time til the season starts.