As many sports fans know, we have had some great luck in having well done films about various sports over the years. It is hard to pick out the best, but once you narrow it down to just college football, it seems that it is a bit hard to even come up with a bunch of them off the top of your head. Try it. You might come across some other great films like ‘Friday Night Lights’ or ‘Any Given Sunday,’ one of which is about high school and the other takes place in the professional league. I love sports and film, and greatly enjoy when I am able to combine both in watching something. Movies are a great way for people to escape from their lives and sometimes watching something inspirational about a fictional football player is what we need to feel good. Other times, it may be the real life story of someone such as Michael Oher, who we all got to know through the Academy Award nominated film, ‘The Blind Side.’ Also, for anyone who starts to get a little stir crazy without college football to watch on television, movies about it of course are not the same, but it can help satisfy that urge sometimes.
With all of the great films about football, t is important to take a look back on some of the best films that many of us have probably seen and some may have skipped over. There have truly been some great films about college football in the past, and not made just for the big sports fans either. Many of these types of films have very inspirational stories that anyone can relate to.
The Blind Side
The Blind side tells the story of Michael Oher, who is a young homeless kid struggling in high school, who eventually becomes a college football star. While this film focuses a bit more on the inspirational tale of him becoming an athlete than on the sport of football itself, it is a very well done film and one that any football fan should see. Sandra Bullock also gives an incredible performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the woman that took him in as part of the film and believed in him. Based on the true life story and a book by the same name, this film was even nominated for a best picture Oscar. Michael Oher now plays for the Baltimore Ravens and became an All-American during his college years with Mississippi.
The Program, being one of the classic college football movies of all time, tells the story of several players from different backgrounds trying to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. A number of issues are brought up in this film such as race, with the new star wide receiver coming in, Darnell Jefferson, (Omar Epps) causing trouble for the white players on the team. James Caan gives an excellent performance as the coach, taking a bunch of guys who are not able to get along and turns them into a winning football program.
We are Marshall
We are Marshall tells the true story of the football program at Marshall University, which suffered a huge loss in the season of 1970 after a plane crashed and players as well as fans of the team died. The team’s new coach and surviving players are forced to deal with a tough situation and do anything that it takes to keep the football program alive. Matthew McConaughey plays the head coach and Matthew Fox plays the assistant coach in another inspiring tale of a team that seemed that they had no chance of even winning a single game in the 1971 season. The new coach is able to rally his new players and turn the program around in order to make a successful season for the fans. The popular chant that gets started will have audiences cheering after the film is over, “We are Marshall.”
The Express tells the incredible true story of Ernie Davis, the college football star who became the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. Dennis Quaid plays his coach, and much of the film focuses on the relationship between Davis and his coach, from recruitment to training him to the star that he becomes. In this situation, Davis is treated with a great deal of prejudice on and off the field, and even from his teammates. Rob Brown does an excellent job in his portrayal of Davis, the star running back that played for Syracuse from 1958 until 1962. Jim Brown was also around then and was involved with recruiting Davis, playing an important part in the film. This is an important film for sports fans to see a great tale as well as learning about the history of race in the sport.
This film tells the story of Daniel Ruettiger, better known as Rudy, who got his dream of playing for Notre Dame. It is a true story, and yet another inspirational tale of a man who proved others wrong and fulfilled his dream. All throughout growing up, Rudy was told that he was too small to play football, but he is determined to overcome the odds and prove everyone wrong, when eventually become a star for the University of Notre Dame. Sean Astin gives a great performance in the role of Rudy, years before people saw him as Sam in Lord Of The Rings. Rudy is often held at number one for all football films and many people appreciate the film and its beautiful story of success. If you see one football movie, let this be it.