Football movies hold some of the most diverse and emotional themes in cinema. They have proven to be the upper echelon of movies, and our NFL expert picks which 4 stand at the top.
The Waterboy (1998)
This spot will be heavily debated, especially with movies like The Longest Yard and The Blindside being left behind. Those movies are classics and hold near and dear to our hearts; however, The Waterboy has proven to be one of the most iconic football movies to the general public.
The movie is about a man named Bobby Boucher Jr., played by the one and only Adam Sandler. He is a waterboy for the South Central Louisiana Mud Dogs and not a very popular one. He is not very socially capable, but after being bullied by the team’s quarterback, he finally decides to fight back and tackle the QB so hard into the ground he is knocked unconscious. This would lead to a funny yet emotional battle to let Bobby play the game that he loves.
The film has conjured up multiple references still heard daily worldwide and holds one of the most diehard fanboys in sports media. On Halloween, football players from across the United States wear bright orange Mud Dogs jerseys with “Boucher” printed on the back.
Brian’s Song (1971)
This is arguably the most heartwrenching movie on the list, with viewers tearing up almost every time it is watched in full. The movie is about a young and promising football player named Brian Piccolo for the Chicago Bears, who backed up legendary running back Gale Sayers.
The movie displays their relationship, with Piccolo being White and Sayers being Black. Despite their differences in such a sensitive time, they became close friends. Becoming the first interracial roommates in the league’s history and showing the world that they weren’t so different.
Then Piccolo was told he had terminal cancer, and his days were numbered. The movie follows the pair as the days grow thinner, with Piccolo eventually passing at the young age of 26. It is heartwrenching, as the viewers know there is no happy ending, just like with some of their NFL predictions. However, the strength of the film’s message and how it was presented puts it near the top of the list.
Remember the Titans (2000)
One of the most iconic sports movies of all time, Remember the Titans, remains near the top. Denzel Washington plays the role of Coach Boone, a black head coach taking over for a newly integrated T.C. Williams High School. The black and white players go back and forth, with the distance growing further and further between them.
Coach Boone forces them to come together. Through hardship and tough love, the line between the groups begins to fade as the white captain and black star Defensive End become inseparable. This movie may be the one that tugs at the heartstrings the most for me personally, which is agreed upon by the majority of the world.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
Without question, the best football movie of all time. Not only as a fan but as a general movie watcher, this is one of the best films to ever grace our screens. Not only does it generate an incredible story, but it makes us watch in awe, like we watch real-life games based on our NFL picks, as the scenes play out.
The story is about a high school in Odessa, Texas, with a history of success in football. The town is boiling with racial and social issues, but the pot never overflows as long as football is around. Star running back Boobie Miles is on pace to be an untouched superstar, with the ability to end up at the best colleges in the world. He’s injured after a single game, and all looks lost.
Once he’s hurt, the town is in shambles. Once hope is lost, the pot spills, and everyone inside begins to fight. Coach Gaines looks at his team and tells them that “Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down.” These words inspired the masses and puts the movie at the top.