Football Season Withdrawals? Let These Football Movies Dull the Pain
Pep: "This is the last time I'll wear this jersey until next season."
Scott: "No. College season."
Pep: (releasing audible breath) "That's right. College season."
It's the conversation that took place between my husband and brother-in-law as we said our goodbyes in the post-game fog last night, and I'd be willing to bet similar broments were happening all over the country. I don't have a clever term for female fan sentiment, but I know there were plenty of weepy women when the Packers brought Lombardi home, too.
I'll be honest. I don't really get psyched about football. Maybe it's because I come from a town that was abandoned by not one but TWO teams before I hit the age of ten, and I went to a university that LITERALLY DOES NOT HAVE A FOOTBALL TEAM. (Go NYU Violets.) But you know what I do get psyched about? Underdogs. Perseverance of spirit. Unlikely friendships. Y'know. Football MOVIES.
So in honor of the end of football season -- and also because it's BlogHer's Month of Movies -- here are just some of the heartswelling football flicks that make me proud to be an American:
WILDCATS -- I mean, obviously, right? If for nothing else, there's this:
(But also, Wildcats is also totally good. Goldie Hawn is at her baddest ass. And there's gratuitous full frontal male nudity. Because it's an 80's movie, and there was always gratuitous nudity in 80's movies.)
RUDY -- RUDY. RUDY. Sam Hobbit, I mean Sean Astin, as the diminutive Notre Dame player is an underdog story for the ages.
Image courtesy TriStar Pictures
THE LONGEST YARD -- We're talking about the Burt Reynolds original, not the Adam Sandler vehicle where Burt is barely recognizable as "the old dude" post-facelift. Actually though, both are kind of watchable. Don't tell any dudes I said that, because I think that's some kind of sacrilege to them, but I thought that gag with the cheeseburgers in the new one was pretty funny. Still, on the record, I'm officially talking about the original. It's tonally a much darker film, and you can't beat the 70's time capsule-ness of it.
REMEMBER THE TITANS -- If this movie doesn't inspire you, you probably have no soul. There, I said it. Also, Denzel.
VARSITY BLUES -- Uh, it DOES TOO count as a football movie. I love it when Dawson is all: "I don't want your life." Also, this movie was the first movie date I went on with my husband. We were teenagers and and there were like 20 friends there, but he sat next to me, and touched my hand. Swoon.
THE REPLACEMENTS -- Okay, this movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure for the husband and me, but it is a definite feel-gooder. When the spoiled pro ballers walk out on their contract, Keanu -- a quarterback who peaked in college -- and his team of misfits get a chance to play out their lost dreams as....The Replacements. Also for some reason, the cheerleaders are on strike too, and they replace the entire squad with exotic dancers. Oh...spoiler alert.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS -- More underdogs, more inspiration, more tears.
LUCAS -- Okay, I've never seen this movie, but my husband swears it's "80's Good" and based on our marriage vows and the imdb cast list, I'm willing to believe him. It stars Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Jeremy Piven, and Winona Ryder...to name a few.
Your turn! Favorite football movies? A glaring omission? Something you gagged when you saw on this list? Tell me!
Morgan (The818) is a blogger and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. She overshares her personal life -- complete with curse words -- at The818.com, talks art and design over at Cargoh.com, and tweets: @the818.