The top five football movies of all time

We’re about half way through the football season, so I thought I’d share with you the top-5 football movies of all time!

#5 Brian’s Song

Brian’s Song is the true story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, both running backs for the Chicago Bears in the late ‘60s.

At first, the men don’t get along, but they soon create a bond that can’t be broken.

Piccolo is later diagnosed with cancer and that’s really when their friendship takes off. It’s a powerful movie that has all of the right ingredients for a great football movie.

It tackles racial barriers and is the story of friendship and brotherly love. It takes a focus on the incredible off-field relationship between the two men.

This movie is an absolute tearjerker. If you’re an athlete, or let alone have a pulse, it’ll be extremely hard for you to hold off the waterworks.

Favorite Quote: “I love Brian Piccolo, and I’d like all of you to love him. When you hit your knees to pray tonight, please ask God to love him, too.” – Gale Sayers

#4 Longest Yard

“Longest Yard” is the story of an ex-NFL player who has a little too much to drink and gets a little aggressive with his girl, his car and some police officers.

He finds himself in jail, where the warden challenges him to a game between the inmates and the guards. It starts off quickly with former star, Paul, losing control and going on a classic car chase. It ends with an epic game between the vicious criminals and the deserving guards.

The ‘74 version is much better than what the remake could do. It’s strong, “manly,” and bluntly, bad ass at the core. If you haven’t seen the original, it’s worth renting!

Favorite Quote: “Hey Pop, the time you hit Hazen in the mouth, was it worth 30 years?” – Paul Crewe

#3 Rudy

I’ve never really appreciated Rudy until the last couple of years.

I’ve always felt like it’s kind of an overrated movie, but the last few times I’ve watched it, I’ve really enjoyed it.

It’s the story of a small town kid, who has always been told he’s too small, and his incredible journey to make the Notre Dame football team. “Rudy” has to overcome many obstacles in order to reach his goal.

Favorite Quote: “You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence! If you had a 10th of the heart of Ruettiger, you’d have made All-American by now! As it is, you just went from third team to the prep team! Get out of here!” – Coach Parseghian

#2 Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is the amazing true story of a high school football team in the middle of severe racial tension from all around.

Coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, takes over the head coaching job and is responsible for bringing the team together.

I saw this movie when I was 10 years old, and I swore that it would always be my favorite movie. It has it all: the come-together story, the unforgettable characters, the comedy and the last play to win it all!

(One of my) Favorite Quote(s): “Fake 23 Blast…with a backside George reverse…like your life depended on it!” – Coach Boone.

#1 Friday Night Lights

In my opinion, it just doesn’t get any better than this movie.

FNL is the best football movie ever made.

It has everything: an intro that sucks you right in (you can hear the radio show while all of the players roll into their first day of camp), an unbelievable season (star player goes down, so the team is forced to come together and pick up the slack after a few losses), and a lights-out, roller coaster finish.

The characters are well-developed and believable. James “Boobie” Miles is a star on and off the field. He would put guys like T.O. and Ochocinco to shame in the smack-talk category. And what about Coach Gary Gaines, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and all of his epic speeches to his team? Here’s one of my favorites:

“Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter more than you do right now. It’s time.”

Honorable Mentions: The Junction Boys, The Program, North Dallas Forty, Any Given Sunday, The Express, The Replacements and The Waterboy.

Hayden Mace/
For the Review
Hayden Mace can be reached at

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